Apple Hogs Patent for the Word "Lightning" - NBC Bay Area
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Apple Hogs Patent for the Word "Lightning"

Deal to share with Harley-Davidson



    Apple Hogs Patent for the Word "Lightning"
    FILE - This April 5, 2012 photo shows the company logo at the Apple Store in London. Apple Inc. is set to reveal a smaller, cheaper version of the iPad at an event on Oct. 23, according to several reports published Friday, Oct. 12, 2012.

    When you hear the song "Born to be wild," you probably think about cool Harley riders in leather, hair blowing in the wind. What, you say? Not hogs, but rather phone connectors?

    Apple just laid something of a claim to the Harley legacy, snagging partial patent rights to the term "Lightning" first reported by Patently Apple. Yes, turns out there are patent rights to the word lightning, and yes, money has apparently changed hands. Now, the patent is shared by one company famous for motorcycles, and another, famous for cool tech gadgets.

    You may remember that Apple recently rolled out its new "Lightning" doc connector, which charges the new iPhone 5 and iPods. I don't recall a cry going up from Harley-Davidson, but that company does hold the patent for a motorcycle, named Lightning but not released.

    It's almost a shame to hear that the deal doesn't mean we're getting a new Apple-branded hog, or smartphone doc built into your bike helmet.

    At least, not yet.

    Scott rides Twitter: @scottbudman