Most peripheral devices these days use some form of USB connection to communicate with your computer. USB is a universal, open specification for device communication, and it’s become the de facto standard for all things tech. My fancy new Droid phone even uses a micro-USB port as a combination tether/charge port.
The thing about standards, though, is that they can’t become standardized unless everyone can use them. VHS killed Sony’s Betamax because anyone could use it, not because it was the superior technology.
But now, Apple and Intel have been squabbling over the rights to a new “Thunderbolt” data port. It’s a high-speed port capable of bi-directional communication on the order of 10 GBPS (for comparison, that’s more than 20 times faster than USB). According to AppleInsider, the trademark for the “standard” was just recently awarded to Intel. But here’s my question, can a “standard” really become the industry standard if it’s owned by one organization, or does that inherent ownership limit the pace of general adoption?
By Sam Oliver
Though Apple originally filed for ownership of the “Thunderbolt” trademark associated with its new high-speed data port, the rights will be transferred to Intel, the company with which it cooperatively developed the new standard.
Intel said that though Apple filed for the original trademark, the Mac maker is currently in the process of transferring the rights to chipmaker Intel, according toBright Side of News. The report also noted that Apple “will continue to have unrestricted use of the technology.”