Ford Applies For “Mach 1” Trademark

Ford Motor Company is in the process of acquiring a trademark for the term “Mach 1”, Motrolix has learned.

Filed on Thursday February 23, 2012 with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the trademark application was given a serial number of 85551201 and lists a (rather lengthy) goods and services category of (inhales):

land motor vehicles, namely, automobiles and their engines; exterior insignia badges for vehicles; vehicle rooftop carriers; spare tire covers; fitted motor vehicle covers; bug deflectors for motor vehicles; running boards for motor vehicles; mud flaps for motor vehicles; trailer hitch receiver plugs for motor vehicles; sunshades for motor vehicles; license plate frames for motor vehicles; windshields for motor vehicles; windows for motor vehicles; wheels for motor vehicles; hub caps for motor vehicle wheels; fitted truck bed covers and truck bed liners

The USPTO published Ford’s application for opposition on January 1, 2013, allowing anyone to voice their concerns on the trademark registration moving forward. As of August 26, 2013, the trademark application has a status of First Extension – Granted, referring to Ford’s request to delay the filing of its Statement of Use — a legal document summarizing the way in which the automaker is using the trademarked term in a real-world product or service. To note, the USPTO offers trademark applicants a maximum of six extensions each lasting six months to file the SOU, for a total of three years.

Some of you may remember that Ford first used the Mach 1 name on a production model in 1968. The moniker continued to adorn performance-styled Stangs until the end of the Mustang II in 1978. The name was the resurrected on the fourth-generation 2003 and 2004 Mustang powered by the love-it-or-hate-it all-aluminum 4.6 liter Modular 32 Valve DOHC V8.

The Motrolix Take

The status of the trademark application could provide an interesting understanding of what’s going on here. Given that, as part of the trademark process, anyone seeking to acquire a trademark is required to submit to the USPTO a Statement of Use outlining how the trademarked term is currently being used in a real-world offering, combined with the fact that Ford has asked the office for more time to file such a document, tells us that The Blue Oval can’t file the SOU since a vehicle with the Mach 1 name is not yet available to the public. And if our assumptions are correct in that the automaker will utilize the Mach 1 name for a trim level of the sixth-generation 2015 Mustang, then Ford won’t be able to file such a document until sometime in 2014 or 2015 (when it has already introduced the new model). However, it technically has up to three years to do so from the original filing date.

And that brings us to another possibility: there have been reports stating that Shelby American won’t be involved in the development or branding of the next-generation Mustang flagship. So it could be possible that the Ford-designed and Ford-engineered sixth-gen Mustang range-topper will wear the Mach 1 moniker, rather than the Shelby GT500 name.

All this makes us yearn for the next-generation Mustang that will be unveiled in December that much more.

Motrolix Founder with a passion for global automotive business strategy.

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