A report from Patently Apple says Apple was required to acquire at least partial European Union rights to the “Lightning” name used for its new iOS dock connector from venerable motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson.
The transfer appears to have been required because of Harley-Davidson’s ownership of the trademark under Class 28, which includes toys and games.
The explanation for this clash of covered items under Class 028 likely relates to what we pointed out in area # 3 noted above. There it states that there was a “partial transfer.” Meaning that Harley-Davidson may have retained the ability to use certain aspects of the trademark relating to the motorcycle parts and so on. The specifics of the partial transfer weren’t revealed.
Class 28 includes, “in particular: amusement and game apparatus adapted for use with an external display screen or monitor.”
This is certainly not the first time Apple has had to deal with someone who already held the trademark it wished to use for one of its products. Apple paid a $60 million settlement to the holder of the “iPad” trademark in China after the trademark’s original owner claimed Apple had purchased the trademark from the wrong subsidiary. The U.S. trademark rights for “iPad” were obtained from Fujitsu, while the company had dealt with Cisco for the “iPhone” tradename.