General Motors is once again attempting to secure the rights to the ‘GMC Granite” trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), GM Authority has learned.
The automaker originally debuted a concept called the GMC Granite — a compact tall-ish hatchback riding on the Delta platform — in January 2010. Months later, a pickup variant called the Granite CPU followed.
So General Motors filed a trademark application for the ‘GMC Granite’ name in November 2010. The application was filed in the category of goods and services: motor land vehicles, namely, on-road passenger automobiles. The vehicle was reportedly green-lit for production in February 2011 until reports in March of 2012 suggested that the smallest GMC was canceled.
So in June 2012, the USPTO requested a Statement of Use (SOU) from General Motors. Those familiar with trademark proceedings will recognize that an SOU is a legal document that’s a necessary part of the trademark process where the applicant demonstrates the ways in which it is using the trademark in a real-world product or service. General Motors didn’t file an SOU, and thus the USPTO designated the trademark application to be abandoned in January 2013.
Then on February 20, 2013, the USPTO received a petition from GM to revive the trademark application, and on December 5, 2012, The General asked the USPTO for an extension to file its SOU. The USPTO granted the extension on March 12, 2013, and as of this writing, the trademark application has a status of 730, or First Extension – Granted.
The GM Authority Take
While some might chalk up trademark filings as irrelevant acts of reading tea leaves, we have reason to believe that it is anything but simply because the days of attaining trademarks for the sake of “protecting” a business or its intellectual property are long gone thanks to the USPTO instituting the SOU. Without this statement, which requires a company to be using the name in a real-world product or service, a trademark applicant simply won’t be able to secure a trademark.
And in the case of the Granite, it seems that The General had a change of heart: it first applied for the trademark in November 2010, but then canceled the project, and thus didn’t file the SOU with the USPTO — thereby abandoning the trademark application. The recent trademark-related activity, however, presents material evidence that a GMC vehicle called Granite is back on the roadmap. Whether it will be production version of the concept shown during the 2010 Detroit Auto Show, or something completely different, is a whole different topic.
To note, an applicant can ask to extend its time to file an SOU up to six times, each lasting six months — for a total of three years. As such, it’s very likely that we will see the GMC Granite announced or arriving in showrooms in less than three years.