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Apple picks up "Lightning" trademark from Harley-Davidson

Apple acquires the rights to use Lightning trademark in certain applications from H-D Michigan, LLC.

Published Mon, Nov 26 2012 7:32 PM CST   |   Updated Sat, Aug 8 2020 10:29 AM CDT

Apple no longer needs to fear being sued over its use of the word "Lightning" to describe its new dock connector. On Thanksgiving Day it was made official that Apple could use the trademark to market products in the audio and video equipment, TV, telephones, software, pinball machine, and eyeglasses categories.

Apple picks up Lightning trademark from Harley-Davidson |

The fact that Apple has only received these applications of the trademark indicate that they were fairly specific in what they wanted from the trademark. The owner of the original trademark retains licensing rights for clothing, footwear, and other applications that were in the original application.

The owner of "lightning" is H-D Michigan, LLC, which is believed to be Harley-Davidson, the makers of those gorgeous motorcycles. It's not perfectly clear that this is owned by Harley-Davidson, but their holding company is located in Michigan, so it makes sense that they are one in the same.


Trace is a starving college student studying Computer Science. He has a love of the English language and an addiction for new technology and speculation. When he's not writing, studying, or going to class, he can be found on the soccer pitch, both playing and coaching, or on the mountain snowboarding.

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