Apple files iTunes Live trademark

Apple has filed an application for the trademark 'iTunes Live', fuelling speculation that the IT giant will soon launch a streaming music service.

The application, revealed by apple pundits PatentlyApple.com, follows the announcement last week of the company’s plan to close the steaming music service Lala at the end of the month, and the building of a $1 billion data centre in Maiden, North Carolina.

The news came at the end of a heavy week at the patent office for Apple, including one application for heart-rate ID technology for its iPhone. Unusually, though, news of Apple’s iTunes Live trademark applications 85030139 and 85030144 was sneaked out by the US Trademark and Patent Office on Saturday morning.

The trademarks were filed under two classes. The first, Class 035, is for an online retail store services in the field of entertainment, pre-recorded musical, audio and audiovisual content. The second, Class 041, covers the arranging and conducting concerts and live musical performances.

Apple retail stores have already seen a few in-store gigs, including an appearance by the band Bloc Party at the company’s largest store on London's Regent Street in 2008. The trademark application may point to a plan to extend these showings to a cloud-based service offering exclusive live streaming webcasts – possibly beginning with the iTunes Festival 2010 in July.