Apple acquired Lightning trademark from Harley-Davidson

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    galbigalbi Posts: 968member


    Cant come up with it on their own?

  • Reply 2 of 32
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,232member
    A Harley-Davidson Lightning TV?
    Almost as bizarre as an Apple TV. No wait...
  • Reply 3 of 32


    As a Harley owner, I approve.

  • Reply 4 of 32
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,249member
    The word 'Lightning' used in conjunction with Harley-Davidson doesn't seem quite right to me. Terms like ''Farm machinery' or 'bust muffler' perhaps ...
  • Reply 5 of 32


    "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.

  • Reply 6 of 32
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,249member
    "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.'
  • Reply 7 of 32
    "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.
  • Reply 8 of 32
    As a Harley owner, I approve.

    Pffew!
    "The trademark system is broken!"

    "Apple making a deal with a gang; short now!"
    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?
  • Reply 9 of 32
    "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
  • Reply 10 of 32
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,949member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 32

    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.

  • Reply 12 of 32
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,747member

    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!

  • Reply 13 of 32


     


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

  • Reply 14 of 32

    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).

     

  • Reply 15 of 32


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

  • Reply 16 of 32


    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.

  • Reply 17 of 32

    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.

  • Reply 18 of 32
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,249member
    welshdog wrote: »
    HAR!

    Now a BMW S1000RR would deserve the term 'Lightning' :)
  • Reply 19 of 32

    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.

  • Reply 20 of 32


    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.

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