What links American business icons Harley Davidson and Apple? For an answer to this question look no further than Apple trademark applications 011399821/862. This week the EU Patent and Trademark office published the two trademark applications for “Lightning.”
Trademark filings usually don’t make for light reading. These applications, however, link two icons of American business and lend some clues to the future. Apple is using the term for its new “Lightning” charger, the new charger and connector for its iPhone 5. The trademarks had belonged to a lined of motorcycles once produced by Harley-Davidson owned Buell Motorcycle Company.
Apple insists the eight prong connector, which costs Apple users $30, is a necessary hardware upgrade. The merits of this assertion have been discussed on social media, but it’s a tribute to the brand that consumers have not rebelled. They have just grumbled a little and reached into their wallets.
There has been discussion on social media, however, on whether the brand has lost some of its luster since the passing of Steve Jobs. Does the iPad have what it takes to stand out in an increasingly crowded tablet market? What about the missteps and firings around Apple Maps?
Circle back to that trademark application. Apple’s purchase of the Lightning trademark also protects “television sets, games, computer game programs, eye glasses and eyeglass frames.” This has led CNNMoney to ask, “Could Apple be planning an iTV, or glasses that include the Lightning connector?” The HuffPost asks, tongue partly in cheek, whether a co-branded Apple/Harley bike could be far off?