Remember how you said “When I’m Sixty-Four (And Have Limited Mobility)” you’d like to have that Beatles Power-Chair that you’ve always dreamed about?
Well, looks like you’ve lost your opportunity. You’re going nowhere, man.
After an 8-year court battle, a Dutch company known as You-Q has lost their case to use the name “Beatle” to describe their popular motorized scooters. The case was decided in the General Court of the European Union.
Handicare Holding BV (You-Q) first applied for the trademark in 2004 and immediately got into a fight with Apple Corps® – known as vicious protectors of the ®©™Beatles™®© name and trademark. In 2010 You-Q lost in Luxembourg court which ruled that You-Q would gain “unfair advantage of the repute and the consistent selling power of the marks of Apple Corps.”
The You-Q company website advertises the “Beatle” thusly:
Beatle. Voor gebruik in en om het huis is optimaal manoeuvreren een absolute must. Dat kan met de Beatle. Deze compacte elektrische rolstoel is zeer wendbaar. De krachtige motoren en uitgebalanceerde elektronica zorgen voor uitstekende rijeigenschappen.
You can obviously see why the Beatle would be so much better than the Hoveround® or The Jazzy®.
Even though Apple and You-Q were understood to have 2 very different products, the European Court upheld this decision claiming the marks were “visually, phonetically and conceptually” similar – that the rock group’s trademark has “a very substantial reputation.”
Furthermore…”there is an overlap between those two sections of the public, in so far as persons with reduced mobility are also part of the public at large and the goods bearing the earlier marks are therefore directed at such persons, who may therefore purchase those goods.”
Translation: ”YOU BEATLES FANS ARE REALLY OLD, YOU’RE FALLING APART, AND YOU’RE CONFUSED AS TO THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MUSIC CD AND A MOTORIZED WHEELCHAIR.”
You think we’re kidding? Get this: The court supposed that since You-Q targets an elderly demographic, their clients “would be particularly attracted by the very positive image of freedom, youth and mobility associated with” Apple Corps’ trademark.”
So it appears that Apple and Beatles corporations may actually own that freedom, youth and mobility that you currently enjoy. Or at least words that express that.
Ah, if only they named it The Beetle, all of this expensive litigation could have been avoided.
Or as SPINAL TAP SAYS: CLICK HERE
Just another day in the department of “Every Word Will Be Owned Soon.”
Oh, relatedly… there’s a ticket to ride and if you try to sit, he’ll tax your seat.