General Motors Files Trademark Applications For ‘Chevrolet Cavalier’, ‘Cavalier’43
General Motors has filed two applications to register “Chevrolet Cavalier” and “Cavalier” as trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The automaker’s September 12th, 2015 applications specify that the marks will be used to name goods and services in the category of “Motor land vehicles, namely, automobiles, sport utility vehicles, trucks, vans, engines therefor and structural parts thereof”.
Roughly three months later, on December 22nd, 2015, the USPTO approved the filings for publication in its gazette, one of the steps in the trademark registration process.
|Trademark||Serial Number||Filing Date|
|Chevrolet Cavalier||86751458||September 9, 2015|
|Cavalier||86751429||September 9, 2015|
The GM Authority Take
These filings make us ponder GM’s plans for the Cavalier name. The moniker was last used on a compact Chevy between 1982 and 2005, at which point it was replaced by the Cobalt and, subsequently, by the Cruze.
But before we go any further, we feel a dire need to state the following: it is extremely unlikely that GM is filing these trademark applications “just to have them for the future” or “just to protect themselves”, as we’re sure many would assume at first glance. While doing this was possible in the past, it is not feasible today due to changes in trademark law that require applicants to have a real-world product or service using the name being solicited in the trademark application. In fact, trademark applicants must prove to the USPTO that they already have or plan to have a product or service with the name being applied for on sale. All that is to say that it is almost impossible to successfully register a trademark without having a tangible product or service by the name being applied for. (Those looking to understand more on this topic should look up the USPTO’s Statement of Use).
With that in mind, notice that these trademark applications cite goods and services of “motor land vehicles”, rather than toys, model cars, floor mats, or something else that would suggest that the trademark in question is for a product other than an actual motor land vehicle. That leads us to conclude that there is a significant possibility of GM resurrecting the Cavalier name for a future Chevrolet vehicle. What vehicle the name could be used for, however, is a head-scratcher.
That’s because the Cruze, by way of Cobalt, has successfully replaced Cavalier as Chevy’s compact car, Sonic has replaced Aveo, and Spark has sprung up to label Chevy’s city car, not leaving much room for Cavalier. Moreover, it would seem highly unlikely that Chevy will replace one of those nameplates with Cavalier. As such, our best guess as to how GM will use the Cavalier name is two-fold.
- To name an all-new model in the Chevy lineup, or
- To name a variant or a trim level of an existing model
Of course, none of the above will apply if GM decides to abandon the trademark process for Cavalier altogether. But that’s yet to take place.
So, what use do you think GM will have for the Cavalier name? Let’s discuss in the comments below.
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Actually GM has a history of names they keep registered for consideration for products but many never get used.
If they are passed over they are kept and may be considered again at a later time.
Also Cavalier has been used globally by GM so they may be going back to this for a product.
Also keep in mind many names are kept as fall back names too as many are changed late in the games on many models.
The Fiero was the Pegesus hence the badge but was changed to Fiero for some unknown reason at the last moment. Note Fiero was also used on a Show car Firebird in the late 60’s.
The Banshee was pulled several times. The Lacrosse had name issues in Canada for slang reasons and there have been others.
To register a name can take months and tens of thousands of dollars in fees and cost to clear it legaly. You always need back up’s and more than one choice.
Could they be planning on Cavalier for the last generation Cruze which is now the Chevrolet Limited in the NYC market in TV adverts?
Scott, you are incorrect on this.
Roughly in the early 2000s, the USPTO completed an overhaul of the way it handles trademarks. It was a significant change and one that is vital to the conversation at hand.
Ultimately, the changes in the trademark process require applicants for new trademarks to file a document called a Statement of Use. In this document, the applicant specifies how the mark is being used in a market-available product or service.
As such, there is no such thing as “keeping names registered for consideration” after this change was implemented.
The only exception are already-registered marks, but even those are reviewed to ensure current use. If no such use can be provided, the trademark goes into the “DEAD” status.
The marks you are referring to either came before the USPTO process change or were never registered fully, simply applied for.
While that is true Alex, the requirements are a bit broader than your post infers.
A SOU can be filed based on use of an existing product. For example, if GM is selling parts for the Cavalier, they can argue they are still using the name in trade.
GM doesn’t need to file a trademark. They can argue common law rights to the name. This could really be as simple as a training exercise for a new member of the GM legal team.
Hence, this could be nothing. However, with Brazil making the Cobalt – a stretched Gamma II car, there is an opening for a car in-between Sonic and Cruze… particularly for fleet use (a la Captiva).
Christopher, indeed an SOU can be filed based on use of an existing product. You are absolutely correct in pointing that out. However, the USPTO has been tightening the definition of what that means, eliminating a lot of the gray area in the process, if you will. In the case of the example you provide, it would have flown a few years ago but not today. Of course, it all depends on the USPTO reviewer, so it varies quite a bit.
Regarding the training exercise: it could be, yes. It just doesn’t sound like something that would happen, having worked for The General.
I hope Chevrolet will bring back a 2 door sporty car with whatever name. Just make us a 2 door with some style and performance under 20 thousand dollars. I can’t afford a Coevette or Camaro
The article says that just filing for a name and not having a specific product planned for just doesn’t happen anymore . They need to have a reason or product planned for the filing of a name . The rules changed .
No one knows for sure their plans , but maybe if Buick’s Regal shows up as a wagon here in the states , could Chevy be interested in such a vehicle withe the Cavalier nameplate ?
Interesting theory here.
Well don’t believe everything you read. Do you realize how many names registered are never used?
It is kind of like going to collage you have to have fall backs.
Also Cavalier has lingered globally too.
Scott, we have done our homework here. So in this case, you should believe what you read.
And as I outlined above, registering a trademark and not using it does not happen any more specifically due to the statement of use requirement from the USPTO.
Regarding Cavalier’s global lingering”… what are you referring to?
Yup, and it is illegal to murder someone…does that stop murder?
The reality is things are done all the time and names still get registered for a “product”, only to be dropped later when the product gets cancelled or changed. They can just show they made their best effort but things did not turn out the way they thought. Are they punished for it? Nope. All in the legalese…
Sorry, but Scott is actually right.
The problem with your analogy is that it doesn’t actually take into account the TM process, which calls for an actual product to already exist… not be in the pipeline, not be planned. Only then will the process be able to move forward to registration. There are some exceptions to this, but that is generally how it works.
The second problem with your train of thought is that there is a healthy financial outlay associated with going through a trademark application and moving forward with it when you take into account the filing (minuscule) and legal fees (not so minuscule), plus the general effort to do this altogether. Now, GM can have lawyers/legal staff in house, but there just isnt any advantage to going through the motions only to get to the Statement of Use phase and call it quits, or ask for extensions (5 total each lasting 6 months), and call it quits.
Alex I think the difference here is that you are seeing this on just a legal stance but I am seeing this from an internal stance.
Companies do keep a lot of names cleared on files that may not have been legally registered. That is where I am coming from.
Two even if they are applied for they can be canceled and changed before the car comes to market. This happens more than you think.
As for global use. Vauxhall has used it as has GM South Africa, South America and maybe some smaller markets I am unaware of. This name was not just for Chevy North America so this name could be used with some global platform that could be shared with other markets.
Note all were cheap economy cars so I would still not expect sporting car.
Anyways I believe in what you state but there is more to it that goes on.
There was a story in Car And Driver a year or two ago that laid out the whole process and the cost involved and showed how expensive and difficult it can be to name a car.
This is also why we have so many made up words used and number letters because they are easier to research and register.
There really is a lot more to this and it would make for a good story on here if you were looking for an idea.
Finds someone who works with the ID package on a car and they can tell you all that is involved.
I was one of those “with an ID badge”, having worked for GM in the recent past. So yes, I am very much aware of the “internal perspective”.
And with that perspective AND the legal perspective in mind, a name will not be allowed to be registered fully without a product to put it on.
I do not understand what you mean here:
“Companies do keep a lot of names cleared on files that may not have been legally registered.”
On what files? Cleared in what way? Internally? Sure. From a USPTO perspective, no. We are taking about USPTO applications, are we not?
Having a name reach the USPTO as a trademark application in the current process presents a significant possibility that it will be used on a product or service. But as the second-to-last line of the article outlines (and as you stated in your comment), it can still be canceled.
Cleared by the legal staff.
Cleared as no conflicts with other products,
Cleared as in not offensive so some obscure group.
When choosing a name marketing or even a designer can submit a number of names and they will be given back those names cleared by several groups with in GM, At this point they can pick the one they wanted or they may have to go to the fall back names they have listed or were given.
In the Case like Banshee it was presented right up to the 90’s but is always rejected due to the name being a whaling ghost or aberration. Pontiac has been stopped on that one for decades because it is considered possible to offend someone. Yet Rolls has the Silver Ghost with no issue.
Just a simple check of all the name mentioned here on this site that were registered in the last few years many of them just never made it. I can not recall them off the top of my head but I know we have seen names that just do not show up on a product.
But this name would never grace a RWD small Alpha.
Ah, I see what you mean by “cleared” now. I was under the impression that you were referring to the USPTO “clearing it”, so thank you for clarifying.
Regarding the names that did not show up on an actual vehicle, those applications were either:
1. Applied/filed for but never pushed through to registration
2. Applied/filed for but abandoned
3. Applied/filed for and are pending registration awaiting the Statement of Use (which can be pushed back 5 times, 6 months each, so two and a half years total). There is still hope for these makes.
4. Registered but not in the “motor land vehicles” or other category that represents an “actual car”.
The name Cavalier is for bringing to real life the Code 130 or a TRU 140……………………………….. or hope so…
I think you might me onto something here…
That would be interesting…but seriously, nothing about Cavalier appeals to me as an appropriate name for a driver’s car.
One major issue on this theory. there is no RWD platform for the 130 as the Alpha is too large plus it has the Camaro.
The other issue on the 140 the name Cavalier would never fit the kind of car it is.
Besides both cars and designs are so old now they both would need reworked to fit the new face of Chevy and what cars they have now.
For a 130 to happen watch for a sub Alpha RWD platform to happen first.
Not sure a sub-Alpha is coming. Alpha 2 will be more flexible than the first iteration, allowing for vehicles slightly smaller than the current ATS, thereby serving as the basis for the upcoming sub-ATS model (which will likely be roughly the same size as the current ATS).
As for the Code and Tru, I would like to see a two-door compact. But if such a vehicle will even happen, it has much better chances of as a Cruze coupe while carrying the Cruze name.
There is no sub Alpha and that was my point.
As for the second Gen Alpha it is coming but not very soon. It will be a Cadillac first and other models later.
As for how flexible it will be we can only assume at this point it will go smaller just because it will have to. As of now really little is known about it and even how or what all models will get it.
The Bottom line is do not expect a RWD performance or FWD performance Coupe with this name. The Cavalier was and will always be a lower priced economy car and one I expect would be shared with other brands like Holden and other GM markets in South Aftrica, Korea, China and South America. India could also see it.
The Code 130-140 are dead and gone. GM will not reach back 5 years for an old show car that did not even have an engine in it. I do not believe it even had an interior just black windows.
Anything new would be all new and if it were to be a performance model it will not be named Cavalier. Just too many Cadaver jokes going around yet with that name for performance.
Here’s a stick in the spokes… What if it is not a car at all. Perhaps the upcoming midsize SUV or maybe a compact pickup. Either of those styles could carry the Cavalier name better than a sedan or coupe could these days.
They already applied to trademark “Blazer” again. So that, I would think, will be the new SUV / Crossover name.
Also, I can’t see them doing a compact truck. There is just no market for a small sized tuck and if there were, I’m sure they would bring back S10. But again, I don’t see a market for it and the cost would be too close to the Colorado.
The next midsize could very easily and may well be called Blazer, but I think Chevy has to know they would be doing a great disservice to the Blazer name and would tick off a whole lot of people if they call the next little FWD pavement pounder “Blazer”. I’m thinking Blazer will be based off the Colorado frame. The compact truck is just wishful thinking, but wouldn’t it be great to have a LUV or 1st gen S10 sized truck running around with the 1.5t and 2.0t. I’d have one in a heartbeat.
The Code 130R IS an Alpha RWD, as much as I love the 130R concept, I feel that the 2.0T Camaro fills this niche and is suitable for young enthusiasts who would have previously bought the FWD Cobalt SS’, Z24’s, etc
A new niche I would love to see but will never happen, and ‘Cavalier’ is a perfect name, would be a 4 door RWD/AWD Compact Chevy.. Picture a 4-door Code 130r. Compete with WRX/Focus RS
Gary it was not an Alpha.
Gary that car was a mock up and Mark Ruess lobbied to make a smaller platform for it and lost.
Note the car you saw had no engine it had no interior and was just a fiberglass roller.
You never saw any road test did you and the blacked out windows were there to hide the non complete interior.
The 130 is dead and gone and if they revisit this it would be an all new car as time has left the 130 behind. It would be 5-7 years after showing the show car that it would be on the market and by then it is old news. GM now only really gives much of a hint when Mules are seen and that is 18 months out.
As of now no mules.
May get a smaller RWD car but not what you saw in the show mock up.
Yes I understand the Code was a rolling prototype, but the wheelbase was the same measurement as the ATS and it was intended to have the 1.4T mild hybrid, etc
I feel that the Camaro 2.0t was more feasible and for that reason has filled the 130 niche and can adequately compete with FRS/BRZ, Hyundai Genesis Coupe segment
The reality is if I want a Cadillac ATS4 2.0T with a Chevy badge so bad I’m going to have to glue it on myself 😉
Here is a clip from a C and D 2012 article regarding code130r concept that explains my statement from a previous comment;
“The Code 130R is a rear-wheel-drive, four-seat coupe wearing what Chevrolet describes as “heritage performance–inspired styling” with flared fenders, straight sides, and crossflag emblems. It resembles a shrunken Camaro with some sweet 20-inch matte anodized gold wheels. The Code 130R casts a shadow roughly the same size as and has proportions similar to the BMW 1-series, and it’s slightly larger than the Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S twins. (We’ve heard this concept shares its platform with the Cadillac ATS; the two have identical wheelbase measurements of 109.3 inches.) Power comes from a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine with eAssist mild-hybrid technology; the engine itself makes 150 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque, a slight bump from the 1.4-liter turbo in other GM products. A six-speed auto would be standard and a six-speed manual offered as an option. We approve.”
The last model of Cavalier was 2004 and it was the best . Most of the niggling problems , including the 2.2 L engine were fixed . GM sold over 1.1 million of these little gems and I still see a good number of them in our City . Surprisingly , for the tons of salt put on our roads in the winter , I don’t see much rust on the bodies , well made GM ! The coupe model here is seen more than the sedan , and I see a big market for a new Cavalier and would size it directly between the Civic and the Accord . A 2.2 or 2.4 L longer stroke naturally aspirated 4 banger could be a good fit . I would stay away from the Turbo mini sized engines , they work too hard and fuel economy suffers , as well , Ford who has been going turbo big time is now having serious problems with carbon building up on valves of some mid miled engines and the fix for the owners is some serious coin . Will this also be a problem for GM ?? Time will tell , mind you I see more problems surfacing for it’s cylinder deactivation engines…who knows ?? Perhaps other contributors here can give some feedback ?
Long live the Z-24. First “new” car back in 1998.
Could be used for emerging markets as well, but I do like the idea of sporting them up as they did the first gen Z24’s back in the late 80s.
Here is the name issue. Cavalier is not high on many peoples list of great cars. It ran well and held up mechanically well but the large amounts of cheap plastic interior and rust left a lasting impression.
The Cobalt is now damaged because of the ignition deal so that is another name that will not be used for a long while if ever.
While the Cavalier name may come back I really believe they could do better. It may sell well in Cleveland with a Lebron edition but I do not see it doing well in California or any other solid import market. etc.
Colbalt is already being used on a subcompact down in Brasil that’s based on the same platform Gamma II as the Sonic and pretty much came out as soon as the Delta based U.S. Cobalt went away. It just got a pretty nice facelift for 2016.
Would a millennial even remember the Cavalier?
It fits into the C and S naming convention Chevrolet is so good of these days.
Maybe Cavalier is for fleet first generation Cruze as they will be sold to reveal fleets for a while?
The Cavalier name may hold some bad vibes for a certain demographic but that isn’t true for younger buyers . The nameplate will go on something new from Chevy as Alex has been trying to explain .
It’s very possible it’s for their new SUV . You just cannot spend all the time and resources to gain control of a name and then not use it or change your mind later on in the build process . It’s not done that way anymore .
I was involved with the last generation of the Cavalier and wore ” the badge ” and as I remember we couldn’t get it to market quick enough . Gas prices had alot to do with it .
so let’s just wait and see where it is going to show up .
I think the Cavaliar is like the Cruze and Colbalt they all had they detractors but plenty of people own(ed) them and have good memories of them. I used to drive a 2000 Cavalier and loved that little car, heck I got it because of how much I liked my 88 Sunbird(didn’t like the 2000 Sunfire front end so I switched to Chevy for the replacement). Would have gotten a Cobalt to replace the Cavalier but I couldn’t get comfortable in the driver seat.
They already applied to trademark “Blazer” again. So that, I would think, will be the new SUV / Crossover name.
I still see Chevy Cavalier’s on the road. This would make it a currently available vehicle, even if GM isn’t currently making them. This may be a way to protect prior IP.
Why not Chevette, Metro, Corvair while we’re at paying homage to forgettable automotive achievements?
Yes!!! the Corvair!!! ha
I would defenetly love to see cavalier in production again. My favorite car I had in my life was a 01 z24. I would be the first one to buy a new one if they make a comeback. (Obiously at a reasonable price)
I have one, best car I own. 1999 2 door model,
As of 2016, the Cavalier is produced in China with som exports to Mexico
As of 2016, the Cavalier is produced in China with some export to Mexico