Apple's Lightning connector is a proprietary power connector that was designed to replace their previous proprietary 30-pin dock connector, used to connect Apple mobile devices like iPhones, iPads and iPods to host computers and so forth. Lightning is significantly more compact and can be inserted with either side facing up. While Lightning is recognized as a connector advancement for mobile devices, the European Parliament recently ruled that Apple must use the Micro-USB Standard Port for European iDevices by 2017. Today, an Apple patent has surfaced describing a newly invented reversible USB connector with the very same convenience as Lightning. Whether Apple's invention will satisfy the EU Commission is unknown at this time - though I wouldn't count on it.