Apple Snags Lightning Rights from Harley-Davidson

Apple can use the name "Lightning" for its new iPhone, iPad and iPod connector, but that's because the company acquired the rights from an unlikely place: motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson.

Apple's Lightning comes from Harley-DavidsonApple's Lightning comes from Harley-Davidson

The acquisition showed up in a European trademark filing, according to Patently Apple, and gives both companies the right to use the term. The trademark covers items such as electrical parts for motorcycles, helmets and turn signals, along with items that aren't usually associated with motorcycles like computer games, televisions, and eye glasses.

The fact that Harley-Davidson's trademark covers televisions has already led to speculation that Apple may have plans for the Lightning name that go beyond its iOS device connector, although there isn't any evidence to support the idea yet.

Apple and Harley-Davidson haven't shared any agreement details, so for now we'll just have to wonder if there might be more Lightning-branded products in Apple's future.