Apple Had to Acquire Its "Lightning" Trademark From Harley-Davidson

Illustration for article titled Apple Had to Acquire Its Lightning Trademark From Harley-Davidson

Apple's controversial Lightning connector has a name that nicely matches up with the Thunderbolt data connection. But its name caused Apple some trouble—because it had to buy the trademark from Harley-Davidson.


The EU Patent & Trademark Office has published trademark applications for Apple's Lightning connector, reports Patently Apple. But what's interesting about them is that they explain how Apple had to buy the trademark from motorbike manufacturer Harley-Davidson.


Turns out that the trademark, as owned by Harley, covered all kinds of items, from motorcycle electrical parts, protective helmets and turn signals, to TV sets, computer game programs and eye glasses. Apple has succeeded in winning a "partial transfer" of the Lightning trademark—which means that Harley probably still has rights use the Lightning name for motorcycle-related products. That probably means that Apple won't be able to branch out into Lightning-enabled motorcycle products any time soon. Dammit. [Patently Apple]

Image by Moyan_Brenn under Creative Commons license

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i like to imagine there was phone call between harley and apple. and being that i am so in love with SOA and am an expert in all things, the call 100% went down like this.

Harley: Hello?

Apple: Hey guys! How's it going?

Harley: Ugh, Apple, everything is great with gas prices goin..

Apple: Oh yeh wow that's great we are interested in your owning of the word "lightning" and would like to purchase it.

Harley: HAHA no way we are selling you the word lightning! You'll have to unstitch it directly off my cold-bloodied leather cut!

Apple: Oh well we were willing to offer 15 billion dollars which is just enough to purchase all of harle..

Harley: Ok meet me at Chuckie's Drinkery.

Apple: Ewww that place is gross. I'll see you at (insert local diner name).