Harley allows Apple to use 'Lightning' brand on 'playthings'
Bikers keep rights for lace, ribbons, flowers and bows
Apple has acquired the trademark "Lightning" from motorbike makers Harley Davidson, but only for use on a limited set of goods and services, a European trademark filing has revealed. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Apple was granted two European registrations for the "Lightning" trademark last week. The legendary motorbike brand only partially transferred the trademark to Apple, which means it could use the Lightning name in the future. The trademark applications are filed under numbers 011399821 and 011399862.
Cupertino is using the name for its Lightning connector, a super-fast data and power link introduced in September for the latest iPhone, iPads and iPods, replacing the usual 30-pin connector.
Apple's first registration - trademark number 011399821 - covers eyeglasses, goggles, wiring, voltage regulators, audio and video equipment, computer software and other gear. Interesting that motorcycle electrical parts are included in this - is Apple thinking of making iPod docks for hogs?
The second registration covers the use of the word Lightning for "goods or playthings", ranging from lottery tickets to er, rocking horses... and fishing rods and tackle, presumably for the massive fanboi flyfisher market segment.
Apple CAN'T use it for artificial flowers, shoe buckles or mittens. Here's a list of things that Apple can't market under the name Lightning - as Harley Davidson still owns the rights:
Harley Davidson's lightning trademark, screengrab European trademarks office
Harley Davidson's intellectual property arm is HD Michigan, which is listed on the trademark.
From the trademark history, it looks like Harley has fought off companies in the past who wanted to use "Lightning" for computer and audio products before, saying it would cause brand confusion.
But since Harley hasn't managed to slap the name on a bike yet, it must have reckoned it might as well cash in while it can. ®
Lockheed and English Electric/BAC must be worried about the knock on the door
Re: Prior Use
I assume the Met Office will have to come up with a new term for the weather phenomenon associated with thunderstorms now!
Methinks it is crazy to have trademarks on common English words.
There's the odd thing about H-D. They're actually quite innovation and (now) have reasonable quality (dreadful in the past). But despite their engineers tinkering around with cool new ideas, their designers seem stuck in some 50s James Dean time warp. And that's not an H-D issue, Victory et al are just the same. Big thumping V-twin and always a big-thumping V-twin in a cruiser-style layout with soggy suspension.
Might work in the USA with long straight roads, but I can imagine it being hell over here with the bends and the rain.
Eric Buell tried to show them and...failed.
Of course the European/Japanese bikes have problems in other directions. With all the engines being race derived, they are high revvers and very thirsty. Shame really. A decent, low MPG bike would be excellent.
US patent 987897586: a method is described of displaying a shiny accessory purely and expressly for the purpose of appearing more sophisticated, cooler, or more privileged, particularly when said accessory is needlessly expensive and affords no measurable functional advantage over a cheaper alternative.