Apple continues to acquire more trademarks to build its empire of clever names for its products. The most recent, the name for Apple’s ‘Lightning’ connector was reportedly acquired from American motorcycle manufacturer, Harley-Davidson. Patent site Patently Apple initially noted that a filing with the European Union showed the ‘Lightning’ name belonging to H-D Michigan, Inc., the holding company for the Harley-Davidson motorcycle company.
According to AppleInsider, Harley-Davidson owned the rights to the ‘Lightning’ name for a number of products, including: television sets, games, computer game programs, eyeglasses, and eyeglass frames, as well as motorcycle electrical parts, protective helmets and turn signals. Apple was also reportedly given a ‘partial transfer’ of the trademark, meaning that HarleyDavidson still reserves the right to use the name with motorcycle related products. Harley-Davidson has possession of the trademark until 2013, meaning that Apple will continue to acquire the naming rights until the trademark expires.
Apple’s Lightning connector replaces the popular 30 pin connector on older iOS devices, which were widely available in third party chains, and were essentially found in every household. As sales of the iPhone 5, iPod Nano, iPod Touch, and iPad (all of which have the new connector), the charger will be readily available in more places and from more retailers.