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Variance

The Registry Rundown for February 2007

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-Variance

February 1, 2007

Welcome to C&G’s Registry Rundown, a new monthly Feature Article rife with information and speculation. Here, yours truly will be reporting on the goings on within the records of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, bringing you the newest trademark applications made by auto manufacturers. Newly filed applications, ones published for opposition, finalized/fully registered and killed trademarks will all be covered.

Here’s a quick explanation of each level of trademark registry, from the least to most likely to be seen used on a production product or concept car:

  • Dead: This is the official USPTO term for a trademark that will not go through (or any further through) the registration process. Trademarks can die because an automaker gives up and/or just decides not to use it or because the trademark is opposed by another party. It is unlikely these will see use on any final product.

  • Filed: These are applications that have just been filed with the USPTO and have otherwise not been published for opposition (the next step in the registry process). Most filed trademarks stay at this level and are sometimes made just so other companies cannot use them. What this means is just because an automaker has filed a trademark does not mean they will necessarily use it.

  • Published for Opposition: This is the next step in the registry process in which the applicant makes the trademark available for other companies to object to or, oppose. There is a published of opposition date given (the date I’ll be providing). If no one opposes within 30 days or opposition of the trademark fails, the application goes to the final stage of the registration process. Publishing an application for opposition speaks well to an applicant’s intent of using the name or symbol.

  • Registered: Applications/names here have been finalized and approved for a manufacturer to do with as they will. These are the trademarks you will most likely see publicly used.
Now with all that said, let’s see what new trademark developments have been occurring as of late.

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The new files this month are greater and more diverse than in the first report. There are twelve in total with three companies representing three countries: Japan, America and Korea.

From Nippon, Toyota has three new entries. The first two are for the Lexus brand and are called “Lexus Enform” and “Safety Connect” (January 5). They are both described as “electronic apparatus for providing services to motorists”. My best guess is that it’s Toyota’s version of OnStar (though Lexus has had that before). The other trademark is for the Toyota brand and its name is “Avanza” (January 15). This is the second European-style name in a row filed by Toyota (the first, “Venza”, was mentioned in the first RR). The difference here is the Avanza already exists in other markets. You can check it out at these Wikipedia and Toyota Malaysia webpages.

Leading the American charge is General Motors with five filings. The first is “Drive Beautiful” (January 22), obviously for a new ad campaign. Good Lord... Let’s gloss over that. Next up, we have “Megamax” (January 8 ). Now, I think this can be one of three things: A more powerful Duramax, a more powerful Vortec MAX or a ridiculously large crew cab a la Dodge’s Mega Cab and Toyota’s CrewMax cab. My money’s on the latter.

Continuing with the General, we come across “E-Flex” (January 9). A fancier name for flex fuel capable vehicles, perhaps? The last two are familiar ones: “SRX” and “XLR” (January 5). Why are these being filed again you ask? Well, apparently GM is planning on providing us with some Caddy eyewear. The applications are filed for “optical frames, eyewear lenses, eyewear cases, and eyewear chains”. Huh, I thought they would have filed for the See-T-S first. (That’s my bad pun for this issue.)

Heading back over to Asia, Hyundai has four recent filings to share. “Hellion” (January 10) is one we’re all familiar with (if you’re not, go here). Is Hyundai thinking of putting it into production? Two more vehicle names are “Geneva” (January 9) and “Genesis” (January 22). My feeling is at least one of them is the potential name for the new Hyundai sedan being slotted above the Azera. Lastly, there is the phrase “Good Thinking” (January 9) which in all likelihood is a new tagline.

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Present possible production patents are plentiful presently. Fifteen found for this fine first of February. (Ain’t alliteration angelic? Anyway...)

Nissan Motor published the trademarks “AX25” and “AX45” (February 13). This is likely for Infiniti’s new crossover vehicle which will be unveiled in April at NYIAS. The interesting thing to me is a lack of an “AX35”; it hasn’t even been filed yet. I suppose it could come later but as it stands, it looks as if the AX is going come with a choice of either a small V6 or large V8. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Toyota has taken the term “Valvematic” (February 20) to the next registry level. Need a hint what it’s for? Think BMW’s Valvetronic. Here is the design for the fancy badging:

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Now we find ourselves at Ford. First is “F-150 Platinum” (February 6). Isn’t a certain Lincoln pickup already an F-150 Platinum of sorts? “Twinforce” (February 13) is a name we all should be familiar with already. Ford’s turbocharged engine made its debut at this past NAIAS. Remember the “Maverick” (February 13)? Looks like it may be the latest victim of the retro-moniker revival. And what’s Ford advertising without some cheesy taglines? You might want to break out the nachos for the ones about to be shared here. Number one is “For All” (February 13) which I can only assume is from “With liberty and justice...” fame. Number two is “For the world we share” (February 13). Don’t those just bring a tear to your eye?

GM’s sole entry in this section this month is “Pursuit” (February 13) as in Pontiac G5. You know, Pontiac’s starting to become like Lincoln with this whole “we don’t know what the hell common nomenclature we should use on our cars” thing. The G-series nomenclature or regular names: pick one, Pontiac.

Since the next two companies we’re at only have one entry each and are for similar things (hybrid vehicles), they’ll be grouped here. The companies and entries I’m referring to are DCX’s “Direct Hybrid” (February 6) and BMW’s “BMW Active Hybrid” (February 20). Is there any major manufacturer that isn’t going (or hasn’t gone) the hybrid route yet?

An interesting one from Volkswagen, the subcompact “Polo” (February 13) looks like it may intend to fight the Versa/Fit/Aveo/Yaris/Accent crowd stateside. Its sister company Audi, meanwhile looks to be potentially launching a new ad campaign. “Vorsprung durch tehnik” (February 27) may or may not sound familiar but it used to be used in Audi advertising long ago. It’s German for “progress by technology”.

The last two come via Hyundai and may be instantly familiar to any General Motors fan. The first, “Epsilion” (January 23), is of course the name of GM’s midsize FWD platform. “Omega” (February 27) may be a little more out of the memory of some but it was the name of an Oldsmobile that started life attached to a Chevy Nova rebadge and ended life attached to a Chevy Citation rebadge. I suppose I’d end my life too if I had to be attached to a Citation.

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The Germans are rounding out the all but confirmed list this time around.

Let’s start with the filthy liars also known as Mercedes-Benz. Why am I calling them filthy liars? Well, not too long ago Mercedes reported that they would not chase sales and sell any model below the C-Class in the United States. (See this thread for the filthy lie.) So then, Mercedes, why am I seeing a fully registered “B-Class” (January 2) trademark filed by you? Filthy liars.

We wrap it up with VW who have registered “R36” and “Scirocco” (January 2), the former of which is not only registered for cars but for so many various pieces of crap I can’t even begin to name them all.

Thanks for taking time to read Registry Rundown and be back in the month of March to experience the ensuing edition. (Alliterations rock.)

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Thanks for all of the work on this!

I expect an urgent PM if you see anything on El Camino ! :AH-HA_wink:

You'll be the first to know. :)

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Continuing with the General, we come across “E-Flex” (January 9). A fancier name for flex fuel capable vehicles, perhaps? The last two are familiar ones: “SRX” and “XLR” (January 5). Why are these being filed again you ask? Well, apparently GM is planning on providing us with some Caddy eyewear. The applications are filed for “optical frames, eyewear lenses, eyewear cases, and eyewear chains”. Huh, I thought they would have filed for the See-T-S first. (That’s my bad pun for this issue.)

E-flex is the powertrain in the Chevy Volt concept.

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