Dylan sues Apple

Filed under: Did you know that...

In the summer of 1994 folk singer Bob Dylan sued Apple for trademark infringement.
The musician was seeking to bar the company from using his name in conjunction with any new software product.

Bob Dylan in Think DifferentApple had in fact been developing a programming language derived from Scheme and Lisp and had called it ‘Dylan’.

It was created in the early 1990s and was originally intended for use with the Newton platform. Unfortunately the implementation did not reach sufficient maturity in time, and the development of the platform was instead done with a combination of C and NewtonScript, invented by Walter Smith.

The Dylan language internally was code-named Ralph and only later adopted its name, chosen by James Joaquin. It supposedly stood for “DYnamic LANguage”.

After Bob Dylan took legal action Apple was forced to reach a confidential out-of-court settlement to obtain the rights to trademark Dylan. The Cupertino company briefly released the language for 68k-based Macs in the fall of 1995, with a “technology release” version available (“Apple Dylan TR1”) that included an advanced IDE.
The same year Apple promptly abandoned the effort.

Fortunately the language has survived and is actively maintained by a group of volunteers, the Gwydion Maintainers.
During the Nineties two other parties contributed to the design of Dylan and developed their implementations. One was a commercial IDE for Microsoft Windows, done by Harlequin and the second was an open source compiler for Unix systems, done by Carnegie Mellon University. Both of these implementations are now open source and available online -as Open Dylan and Gwydion Dylan- for a variety of platforms thanks to the aforementioned Gwydion Maintainers.

The image of Bob Dylan is from the Apple ‘Think Different’ campaign and is taken from Red Light Runner Store.

Monday 22 June 2009, 1:48 pm
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Apple Corps Vs Apple

Filed under: Did you know that...

Ten years ago, on the 4th February of 1989 Apple Corps, the Beatles-founded holding company and owner of their record label Apple Records, sued Apple Computer for the second time, seeking unspecified damages, charging that Apple violated the terms of a 1981 trademark coexistence agreement.

Apple Corps logoThis was the result of a 1978 lawsuit against Apple Computer which was settled three years after with US$80,000 being paid to Apple Corps: Apple Computer agreed not to enter the music business while Apple Corps was not to enter the computer business.

But in 1986 Apple added MIDI and audio-recording capabilities to its computers and the suit mentioned these capabilities present in the Mac Plus, Mac SE and MacII, the Apple IIGS and in an upgrade kit for the Apple IIe. Also mentioned as infringing were the AppleCD SC drive and Apple’s MIDI device. Although Apple maintained that it had not violated their agreement, it again decided to settle, in October 1991, paying US$26.5 millions and keeping an eye on possibile future violations since it was prohibited from using its trademark on “creative works whose principal content is music”.

Monday 02 February 2009, 5:54 pm
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