Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law

The Beatles prevail in intellectual property lawsuit

New Jersey residents may be aware that the surviving members of the Beatles and the estates of John Lennon and George Harrison have been involved in a number of lawsuits in recent years. The most recent litigation was filed against the Beatles' holding company Apple Corps Limited by a firm founded by the promoter behind the band's 1965 concert at New York City's Shea Stadium. The litigation was initiated over footage taken during the show that was recently used in the 2016 documentary film 'Eight Days a Week," but a New York judge dismissed the case on July 26.

The plaintiffs in the case claimed that the famous 1965 performance would never have happened if Sid Bernstein had not been involved, but the judge was unimpressed by these arguments. He pointed out that the contract entered into in 1965 between Bernstein, who passed away in 2013, and Nems Enterprises, which was the Beatle's holding company before Apple, gave the legendary promoter no rights to any recording of the concert. The judge also raised questions about the validity of the intellectual property litigation based on the statute of limitations.

The arguments made by the attorneys representing Apple Corps were better received, and they also introduced a contract signed by Bernstein that gave Nems Enterprises the rights to film the Shea Stadium performance and keep any revenue generated by the recording's subsequent release. Attorneys representing Sid Bernstein Presents say that they have yet to decide whether or not to appeal the decision.

This kind of lawsuit can drag on for months or even years, and the issues involved are often crucial to the future success of the litigants. Attorneys with experience in this area may seek to avoid protracted and costly legal battles by ensuring that intellectual property is properly protected by patents, trademarks and copyrights, and they could also urge their clients to respond vigorously whenever their rights are infringed.

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Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law - Intellectual Property

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