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: Moyan_Brenn/Flickr

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