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Apple acquired Lightning trademark from Harley-Davidson

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
The Lightning brand associated with Apple's new, smaller dock connector for iOS devices was obtained through a deal with motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson.

Details of the trademark deal were made public in a filing with the European Union discovered by Patently Apple. The EU Certificate of Registration noted that the registered trademark for "Lightning" was originally owned by H-D Michigan, Inc., which is the intellectual property holding company for Harley-Davidson.

The motorcycle maker originally owned the rights to the Lightning name across a wide range of product types: television sets, games, computer game programs, eye glasses, and eyeglass frames, in addition to motorcycle electrical parts, protective helmets and turn signals.

Lightning


Apple was given a "partial transfer" of the Lightning trademark, suggesting that Harley-Davidson likely retained the rights to use the name for motorcycle-related products.

Harley's Lightning trademark remains protected until 2013, which necessitated Apple acquiring the rights to the name before launching its Lightning port and accompanying accessories.

The Lightning port debuted in September on the redesigned iPhone 5, replacing the legacy 30-pin dock connector found on previous models. The redesigned port is 80 percent thinner than its predecessor, and is also orientation independent, making it easier to plug in.

The Lightning port uses adaptive technology to dynamically assign its 8 pins. This allows the cable to be physically plugged into a device in two orientations.
post #2 of 33

Cant come up with it on their own?

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post #3 of 33
A Harley-Davidson Lightning TV?
Almost as bizarre as an Apple TV. No wait...
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post #4 of 33

As a Harley owner, I approve.

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post #5 of 33
The word 'Lightning' used in conjunction with Harley-Davidson doesn't seem quite right to me. Terms like ''Farm machinery' or 'bust muffler' perhaps ...
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post #6 of 33

"The trademark system is broken!"


Originally Posted by Galbi View Post
Cant come up with it on their own?

 

Can't come up with WHAT on their own?

 

And why does Apple even need the trademark? These are two completely different industries; I was under the impression that identical names could be used if the industries have nothing to do with one another.

post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

"The trademark system is broken!"

Can't come up with WHAT on their own?

And why does Apple even need the trademark? These are two completely different industries; I was under the impression that identical names could be used if the industries have nothing to do with one another.

True i believe but the article explained this here ... Pretty weird interest or overly cautious patent lawyer!

'The motorcycle maker originally owned the rights to the Lightning name across a wide range of product types: television sets, games, computer game programs, eye glasses, and eyeglass frames, in addition to motorcycle electrical parts, protective helmets and turn signals.'
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post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

"The trademark system is broken!"

Can't come up with WHAT on their own?

And why does Apple even need the trademark? These are two completely different industries; I was under the impression that identical names could be used if the industries have nothing to do with one another.

It's not a matter of what industry H-D is in. It's a matter what products and services for which a trademark is registered. There are 30+ product classes recognized by some international body (too lazy to look it up). It's possible H-D registered Lightning across all of them.
post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

As a Harley owner, I approve.

Pffew!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

"The trademark system is broken!"

"Apple making a deal with a gang; short now!"
Quote:
And why does Apple even need the trademark? These are two completely different industries; I was under the impression that identical names could be used if the industries have nothing to do with one another.

I believe that to be true. Which is also I got from the Apple Corps dispute.

PS Why is that silly girl still here, making condescending remarks?
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post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

"The trademark system is broken!"

Can't come up with WHAT on their own?

And why does Apple even need the trademark? These are two completely different industries; I was under the impression that identical names could be used if the industries have nothing to do with one another.

You are correct that trademarks are market specific and Apple could likely argue that theirs is a different market. But since we are taking about one year, it may have been cheaper to buy it off the company to avoid court costs and Harley trying to pull a Cisco

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post #11 of 33
You can register a trademark for whatever you like. If that is accepted, then no one else can use it. It's the usual complex issue however. Trademarks can be locally applied as well, so two small companies on opposite coasts can have the same trademark, even the same company name. Strange, but that's how it works.

However that may be, my wife and I finally got to an Apple store to look at the new iPhone 5 and iPad Mini. I was struck at just how small the new connector really is. You can't appreciate this from pictures.
post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

"The trademark system is broken!"

 

Can't come up with WHAT on their own?

 

And why does Apple even need the trademark? These are two completely different industries; I was under the impression that identical names could be used if the industries have nothing to do with one another.

 

Apple doesn't agree with you, 

 

.. Apple now suing Polish grocery store for infringement

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2409669,00.asp

 

and Samsung doesn't own the grocery store.


Edited by tooltalk - 11/26/12 at 8:30am
post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

The word 'Lightning' used in conjunction with Harley-Davidson doesn't seem quite right to me. Terms like ''Farm machinery' or 'bust muffler' perhaps ...

HAR!

post #14 of 33

 

Psychotic. Hope whoever's in charge of that suit gets reprimanded.

post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

 

Apple doesn't agree with you, 

 

.. Apple now suing Polish grocery store for infringement

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2409669,00.asp

 

and Samsung doesn't own the grocery store.

 

I really don't know what is going on with that company but they are willfully creating their own PR nightmares.  These are words I think of when I think of Apple:

 

Design, white, consumer oriented and high quality

 

Ever since Jobs went off the deep end with Google and now that they mass produce their products in a rushed fashion (they do have to keep up with the competition) new words are creeping into my vocabulary when I think of Apple.

 

Vindictive, average quality, arrogant and bully.

 

I know the diehard fans out there will disagree but I'm not the only one who is saying this.  Apple needs to go back to their roots and learn what Jobs taught them before he went all ballistic.  Their focus does not seem to be where it once was it seems and they no longer seem like the happy/peaceful company I once felt like they were.

 

That being said, I think them getting the lightning name is important for them as they are going to have to compete with Google/Microsoft in the glasses market at some point so it's best to get that all squared away.  I think they worry about people suing them a lot since they appear to be doing more frequently (kind of like someone who cheats others is always worried that he is being cheated).
 

post #16 of 33

Harley-Davidson acquired it from Raijin, the Japanese god of lightning. 

post #17 of 33
Originally Posted by zippy2shoes View Post

Ever since Jobs went off the deep end with Google and now that they mass produce their products in a rushed fashion (they do have to keep up with the competition) new words are creeping into my vocabulary when I think of Apple.

 

Vindictive, average quality, arrogant and bully.

 

I know the diehard fans out there will disagree but I'm not the only one who is saying this.  Apple needs to go back to their roots and learn what Jobs taught them before he went all ballistic.  Their focus does not seem to be where it once was it seems and they no longer seem like the happy/peaceful company I once felt like they were.

 

That being said, I think them getting the lightning name is important for them as they are going to have to compete with Google/Microsoft in the glasses market at some point so it's best to get that all squared away.  I think they worry about people suing them a lot since they appear to be doing more frequently (kind of like someone who cheats others is always worried that he is being cheated).

 

You've completely lost it and don't seem to have a grasp on Apple's history or fact at all.

post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

And why does Apple even need the trademark? These are two completely different industries; I was under the impression that identical names could be used if the industries have nothing to do with one another.

 

I get confused by this too, and recall a case where the products were so similar I WAS confused.

 

15 years ago, "IMAX" used to mean that 160-foot tall round movie screen where the fish-eye lens-camera movie projects that virtual-reality-stuff like a plane flying in a gorge or some such that makes you feel around for a seatbelt on your recliner-chair.


Now IMAX just means a sharper picture at your regular movie theater and (maybe) better (louder?) sound.

 

So what's IMAX?  Anyone remember those rare original theaters (there were 1 or 2 in the state of Connecticut).

 

Wikipedia has some Jive on it, but the question here is about branding.  IMAX used to mean something very specific.  Using a higher resolution on a conventional movie seems like something not-as-good. 

 

Is the IMAX brand diluted as a result? I think so.

post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post

HAR!

Now a BMW S1000RR would deserve the term 'Lightning' 1smile.gif
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post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

Cant come up with it on their own?

 

I used to think you were just an Apple hater, or some sort of Android fanatic. You never had anything useful or to the point to say, although there was always plenty of vitriol. Now, after this most obtuse comment of yours ever,  I'm convinced that you have no purpose beyond trolling. What a waste of a life.

post #21 of 33
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post
What a waste of a life.

 

I try not to think about the fact that the thing typing on a keyboard to make a troll account is sentient. 'Course now you've made me think about it, and that's just depressing.

post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy2shoes View Post

I really don't know what is going on with that company but they are willfully creating their own PR nightmares.  These are words I think of when I think of Apple:

Design, white, consumer oriented and high quality

Ever since Jobs went off the deep end with Google and now that they mass produce their products in a rushed fashion (they do have to keep up with the competition) new words are creeping into my vocabulary when I think of Apple.

Vindictive, average quality, arrogant and bully.

I know the diehard fans out there will disagree but I'm not the only one who is saying this.  Apple needs to go back to their roots and learn what Jobs taught them before he went all ballistic.  Their focus does not seem to be where it once was it seems and they no longer seem like the happy/peaceful company I once felt like they were.

That being said, I think them getting the lightning name is important for them as they are going to have to compete with Google/Microsoft in the glasses market at some point so it's best to get that all squared away.  I think they worry about people suing them a lot since they appear to be doing more frequently (kind of like someone who cheats others is always worried that he is being cheated).

 

"These are words I think of when I think of Apple:" ... KInd of glad I have a totally different set if words that come to mind ... like quality, reliability, excellence, great investment, productivity, fun, enjoyment ... I could go on but I have to go an order some new stuff from Apple 1biggrin.gif
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post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

 

Apple doesn't agree with you, 

 

.. Apple now suing Polish grocery store for infringement

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2409669,00.asp

 

and Samsung doesn't own the grocery store.

 

Ironic...the company that sells actual apples can't have a name that sounds like that word because a computer maker named "Apple" doesn't like it.  Enough with the lawsuits Apple.  It makes you look petty.  Fire some of your lawyers before they run the place.

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post #24 of 33
Originally Posted by oneaburns View Post
Enough with the lawsuits Apple.

 

Enough with THESE lawsuits. Need to have more of the others.

post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

"The trademark system is broken!"

 

Can't come up with WHAT on their own?

 

And why does Apple even need the trademark? These are two completely different industries; I was under the impression that identical names could be used if the industries have nothing to do with one another.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


True i believe but the article explained this here ... Pretty weird interest or overly cautious patent lawyer!
'The motorcycle maker originally owned the rights to the Lightning name across a wide range of product types: television sets, games, computer game programs, eye glasses, and eyeglass frames, in addition to motorcycle electrical parts, protective helmets and turn signals.'

 

There are two types of trademark certification.   You initially use "TM" and then when you prove usage and uniqueness, you can apply for an "R" which is much stronger.   I don't understand how Harley would have gotten the "Lightning" trademark for non-motorcycle related products unless they've produced any.   So to me, eyeglasses, motorcycle parts, helmets and turn signals make sense since they're all related to Harley's primary product line, but TVs, games and computer games, unless directly related to Harley products, don't make sense and IMO (although I'm not a lawyer), should not have been granted to Harley.   I also find it hard to believe that no one besides Harley has used the Lightning trade name before.

 

A search on the web finds:

Lightning X bags and warning lights.

Greased lightning lubricants

Tampa Bay Lightning apparel 

Blue Lightning restoration products

Etc.

post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

There are two types of trademark certification.   You initially use "TM" and then when you prove usage and uniqueness, you can apply for an "R" which is much stronger.   I don't understand how Harley would have gotten the "Lightning" trademark for non-motorcycle related products unless they've produced any.   

TM requires no certification whatsoever. You can just slap it on anything you want.

 

Anyone can get a trademark ® on any name they like so long as no other holder of the same or similar name complains about it. There is no requirement that you have some logical reason to include a certain business category based on your current business model. You just need to file the paperwork and pay the fee. There is no official inquiry except if the name is already trademarked in the exact same business category. Upon submitting the application and fee, notification is sent to other holders of the same or similar name to allow them to challenge the application. If no one challenges the application, the trademark can be issued upon finalizing the documentation within 180 days or so (last time I went through the process). Trademarks can also be challenged after the fact. They also need to be maintained by periodically filing paperwork and paying fees. If they are not maintained, they are considered abandoned, sort of like domain names. Trademarking is usually done by an attorney for around $5,000 although you can attempt to do it on your own but it is rather tricky navigating the bureaucracy. 

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post #27 of 33
I remember about 30 years ago Harley was owned by a company called AMC if I remember it correctly. The bikes were awful then, and they marketed other things under the Harley name. Maybe this is when Harley acquired Lightning trademark and for things other than motorcycles.
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by kroginold View Post

I remember about 30 years ago Harley was owned by a company called AMC if I remember it correctly. The bikes were awful then, and they marketed other things under the Harley name. Maybe this is when Harley acquired Lightning trademark and for things other than motorcycles.

AMF

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post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by aelegg View Post

I get confused by this too, and recall a case where the products were so similar I WAS confused.

15 years ago, "IMAX" used to mean that 160-foot tall round movie screen where the fish-eye lens-camera movie projects that virtual-reality-stuff like a plane flying in a gorge or some such that makes you feel around for a seatbelt on your recliner-chair.


Now IMAX just means a sharper picture at your regular movie theater and (maybe) better (louder?) sound.

So what's IMAX?  Anyone remember those rare original theaters (there were 1 or 2 in the state of Connecticut).

Wikipedia has some Jive on it, but the question here is about branding.  IMAX used to mean something very specific.  Using a higher resolution on a conventional movie seems like something not-as-good. 

Is the IMAX brand diluted as a result? I think so.

There's a actual IMAX theater that I used to go to that was simply mind blowing compared to the "IMAX experience" some theaters have.

Geez big ass screen with scaffolding, big ass speakers. Can't really put it into words..
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post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post


There are two types of trademark certification.   You initially use "TM" and then when you prove usage and uniqueness, you can apply for an "R" which is much stronger.   I don't understand how Harley would have gotten the "Lightning" trademark for non-motorcycle related products unless they've produced any.   So to me, eyeglasses, motorcycle parts, helmets and turn signals make sense since they're all related to Harley's primary product line, but TVs, games and computer games, unless directly related to Harley products, don't make sense and IMO (although I'm not a lawyer), should not have been granted to Harley.   I also find it hard to believe that no one besides Harley has used the Lightning trade name before.

A search on the web finds:
Lightning X bags and warning lights.
Greased lightning lubricants
Tampa Bay Lightning apparel 
Blue Lightning restoration products
Etc.

Thanks for the info. Perhaps Apple got the name for a few iPads 1wink.gif
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post #31 of 33

Wait... Harley builds electronics?
 

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post #32 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightknight View Post

Wait... Harley builds electronics?
 

Probably more product skus than Apple.

 

http://search.harley-davidson.com/?q=electronics

 

Oh wait... Apple makes lightning and thunderbolts?

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post #33 of 33
There's the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, and also the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II. The latter is a proven aicraft, the former controversially somewhat less so.

@melgross: yes, the Lightning connector tab is tiny!
Edited by AlexN - 11/26/12 at 4:30pm
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