updated 11:45 pm EST, Wed February 23, 2011
Thunderbolt tech an Intel trademark, not Apple
The new Thunderbolt standard on upcoming MacBook Pros may actually be a universal Intel standard, last-minute findings uncovered. Even with an Apple-styled logo, the expected Light Peak technology is now known by MacRumors to be a registered Intel trademark, suggesting that it won't be Apple-exclusive. Apple provided key input on Light Peak and may have been instrumental in accelerating the launch.
The MacBook Pros that would use Thunderbolt first might not follow Apple's usual timing. Intel's Light Peak unveiling is now expected to start at 10AM Pacific (1PM Eastern) and may be the cornerstone of the MacBook Pro introduction. In a rarity, Apple might have to wait for the Thunderbolt technology to show first before getting its own introduction.
Apple usually prefers to launch products shortly after 8:30AM Eastern and could still do so, but it has very rarely made exceptions to accommodate another event.
The choice of Mini DisplayPort as the template for the connector is believed to have stemmed both from Apple's own ability to use its own, freely licensable connector standard as well as Intel's ability to avoid scrutiny from other organizations. Although Intel is considered a chief architect of USB, the USB Implementers Forum said Intel should back off as it was using a USB jack as a combo connector and breaking the existing standard.