Hats off to GM Authority, whose stalkerish coverage of everything General Motors apparently extends to the United States Patents and Trademarks Office. The Authority uncovered GM recently applied for a handful of trademarks revolving around the “Chevelle” nameplate, which raises the question if we might soon be treated to a new Chevelle for the first time since 1977. The answer depends on how you interpret the titillating small print of the trademarks process. GM Authority reports:
“For starters, companies no longer file for trademarks for the sake of filing, or in the name of corporate protection/security — since today’s trademark environment is significantly different than that of the days of yore. Today, in order to complete the registration of a trademark, the applicant must file a legal document called a “Statement of Use”, or SOU. This document specifically requests that the applicant demonstrate the current (not future, or planned) business reason (most commonly defined as the trademark’s use for a real product) for the applicant being granted the trademark.
Without an SOU, a trademark will not be granted. Of note is the fact that the applicant has the ability to prolong the time it has to file an SOU by six terms, each lasting six months, or a total of 36 months (3 years).”
In other words, it shouldn’t take longer than three years for us to know definitively if GM is serious about bringing the Chevelle back, or merely keeping the name in their pocket to slap on a mystery vehicle at some point. Jalopnik’s Patrick George thinks the latter could prove to be true.
“…As much as I'd like to see the Chevelle make a comeback as a sub-Camaro rear-wheel-drive coupe — perhaps an SS version with a turbo V6, if not a V8 — we have no guarantee the name won't be used in some other way,” he writes. “Just look at the Dodge Dart, which went from being a muscle car in the 1960s and 70s to being a front-wheel-drive compact with a Fiat engine today.”
We do live in a world where vehicles such as an Italian Jeep will soon become reality. If and when Chevrolet decides the Chevelle should attempt a triumphant return, they’ll be free to re-tool the car with as much or little of its original DNA as their marketing gurus see fit. Here’s hoping they decide there’s room for another SS-package in Chevy’s lineup, and more importantly, one that’s worth the Chevelle trademark.
In the meantime, watch what happened when this car guy decided to retrofit his own 1970 Chevelle up to modern standards and got it so right.