Apparently using the name “Lightning” for the new dock connector wasn’t as easy as it seemed. Apple had to buy the trademarked name from motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson in order to get the Lightning technology out on the market.
The EU Parent & Trademark Office published two Apple trademark applications for “Lightning,” which clearly points out that Apple had to acquire the trademark from Harley-Davidson. Harley-Davidson’s trademark is currently in place until 2013. Apparently the trademark owned by Harley covered a bunch of items, like motorcycle electrical parts, protective helmets and turn signals, as well as TV sets, computer game programs, and eyeglasses.
Apple has been given a partial transfer for the Lightning trademark, which likely means that Harley still has the right to use the Lightning name for motorcycle-related products, and maybe eyeglasses.