Apple's Macbook Pro laptops and its new iMac models may be the first products to have the new and super fast Thunderbolt port installed. However, Intel wants to make sure people know that it still owns the trademark to the Thunderbolt name, free and clear. 9to5Mac.com reports that it has a statement from a Intel rep saying that while Apple did file for the original Thunderbolt trademark, the company "is now transferring that trademark to Intel."
Thunderbolt's technology is a collaboration between Intel and Apple. A laptop with a Thunderbolt port can support data transfer speeds of up to 10Gpbs for both directions. That is many times faster than what is possible with the popular Firewire and USB 2.0 ports that are used on most Windows PCs. The Thunderbolt port can also be used as a video display port and indeed connects to Mini DisplayPort video displays without the use of an adapter. However, while the development of the Thunderbolt technology teamed up Apple with Intel, it is indeed Intel who now owns the trademark. In a statement, Intel said:
As part of our collaboration with Apple, they did some of the initial trademark filings. Intel has full rights to the Thunderbolt trademark now and into the future. The Thunderbolt name will be used going forward on all platforms, irrespective of operating system.
USB 3.0 is Thunderbolt's main rival in the next-gen port space. These two formats will be competing for manufacturers to support their technology going forward.