Apple Is Paying Harley-Davidson Just So It Can Use The Word 'Lightning'

harley davidson

Photo: By k sungwon on Flickr

The EU Patent & Trademark Office has published trademark applications for Apple‘s Lightning connector which reveal that the company bought a “partial transfer” from Harley Davidson to enable them to use the word “lightning.”Patently Apple reports that the trademark owned by Harley-Davidson is in fact used for a huge range of products from motorcycle electrical parts and protective helmets to less obvious items such as TV sets, computer game programs and glasses.

The connector is installed on all of Apple’s latest products from 2012, and consists of just 8 pins rather than the previous standard of 30.

Apple’s “partial transfer” of the Lightning trademark means it can use the word ‘Lightning’ for its connectors but will not have exclusive rights to it.

Harley-Davidson can continue to sell the word Lightning in “partial transfers” while retaining the overall right to its usage.

The smaller ‘Lightning’ connector released this year doesn’t connect to previous Apple docks or accessories, though the company does offer an adaptor – for £25 ($29 in the United States).

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