Apple Lightning Connector Trademark Acquired from … Harley-Davidson and Buell?

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Apple is one of the world’s most powerful brands, and it looks like it recently enlisted the help of another top brand: Harley-Davidson. The two companies are among the top 100 brands in the world, as ranked by brand consultancy firm Interbrand. Apple is #2 on Interbrand’s rankings for top brands of 2012 with a brand value of $76.57 billion, while Harley-Davidson is ranked 96th overall with a value of $3.86 billion.

According to a report by the blog Patently Apple, Apple recently acquired partial trademark rights in Europe for “Lightning”, to be used for its new 8-pin connector for its latest mobile products including the iPhone 5 and the fourth-generation iPad. But in order to use the trademark, Apple had to negotiate for the rights to use it from its trademark-holder, Harley-Davidson.

The Motor Company held the rights to the name “Lightning” until 2013 for use in a wide range of products from motorcycles to eyewear to video games, but its best known use was for the Buell Lightning, which incidentally was the last Buell motorcycle to roll off the assembly line after the brand was discontinued.

Apple only acquired partial rights to the trademark however, which makes sense considering how little overlap there is among Apple and Harley-Davidson products. Harley-Davidson retains some rights, but Buell fans should not hold out hope of a revival of the brand. It’s unknown how much Apple had to pay to acquire the rights to the Lightning trademark.

[Source: Patently Apple]

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