Ask any Volkswagen enthusiast living in the U.S. what has been the biggest mystery about the German automaker’s future product plans, and you’ll likely hear something along the lines of whether or not Volkswagen will bring its Amarok pickup truck to the United States.
Indeed, speculation and rumors about the topic have been all over the place, but none have truly provided a definitive answer to the question. And alas, we’re not about to tell you that the Amarok is, indeed, coming to America. But what we will do, however, is reference a factual source and allow you to make your own conclusions.
Not One, But Two Trademark Applications
Here’s the deal: Volkswagen has been hard at work trying to secure trademark rights to the Amarok name with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) since the year 2007. For those who are up on the history of the Amarok will know that that’s is actually three years before the mid-size pickup truck went into production. However, VW’s original quest to trademark the name, which carries USPTO application serial number 79043414, ended in late 2014, when the USPTO failed to receive the appropriate paperwork to grant trademark rights.
Then, in May of 2014, Volkswagen filed another trademark application with the USPTO for the Amarok name. Since then, the German automaker has been playing the somewhat-complex game of cat-and-mouse with the trademark office. For starters, some brief history on the most recent filing — serial number 86276692.
A Timeline Of VW’s Amarok Trademark Activities In America
- Volkswagen filed the application in May of 2014
- In October 2014, the USPTO published the application for opposition — a part of the trademark process that publishes the mark in the Official Gazette, a weekly publication of the USPTO. Here, any party who believes it may be damaged by registration of the mark has thirty (30) days from the publication date to file either an opposition to registration or a request to extend the time to oppose. If no opposition is filed or if the opposition is unsuccessful, the application enters the next stage of the registration process.
- If the mark is published in the Gazette and no party files either an opposition or request to extend the time to oppose, the USPTO will issue a notice of allowance about twelve (12) weeks after the date the mark was published
From here, all that the applicant needs to do is to do either one of the following two things:
- Use the mark in commerce and submit a statement of use (SOU) to the USPTO, or
- Request a six-month extension of time to file a statement of use
And here’s where the cat-and-mouse games begin: in order to register a trademark with the USPTO, Volkswagen must file a Statement of Use with the USPTO showing how it is using the trademark in a real-world product in the United States. But Volkswagen can’t do that, since it does not sell the Amarok in the U.S. Instead, all it can do is file an extension until it can show the USPTO that it’s using the Amarok name in said product or service. An applicant may file a total of 5 (five) extension requests, each lasting six months, until the USPTO kicks the application to the curb, requiring the applicant to start the process anew.
Extension Is Activity
Now, on April 29th, 2015, Volkswagen requested from the USPTO the filing’s first extension to file the Statement of Use. The extension was granted on the same day, and the USPTO then emailed the notice of extension approval on May 1st, 2015.
Knowing all this, it’s clear that Volkswagen is still actively pursuing trademark rights for the term Amarok in the United States. And given the USPTO’s Statement of Use process simply does not allow for a company to register a trademark without it being used in a real-world product or service, we think there is little reason for VW to chase after trademark rights for the Amarok name in the U.S. if it’s wasn’t planning on doing something with it. But for now, all we can do is sit and wait. And look at Amarok pictures.