Apple’s new Lightning connector is the perfect accompaniment to the Thunderbolt port, but the trademark hasn’t always been owned by the Cupertino company. In fact, it had to “partially” acquire it from motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson, which uses it to cover motorcycle parts, protective helmets, and turn signals.
Patently Apple discovered the Lightning trademark applications in the EU Patent & Trademark Office database, one of which indicates that the official transfer may have happened just last week, on November 24. What’s interesting is that it states Apple only has partial ownership of the Lightning name.
It seems that Apple owns the Lightning trademark when consumer electronics are concerned, but Harley-Davidson can still use the name for motorcycle parts and so on. What’s even more interesting is that Apple is covered for television sets, games, computer game programs, eye glasses, and eyeglass frames — things that the Cupertino company doesn’t make… yet.
- Source Patently Apple