Ford lodges USPTO application for ‘Black Diamond’ trade mark
Car manufacturing giant Ford recently filed for the ‘Black Diamond’ trade mark application with the United States Patents and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The mark, filed under the goods and services of “Land motor vehicles, namely, passenger automobiles, pick-up trucks, sport utility vehicles”, has left ford fanatics speculating as to whether a new model is being released. Others however, suggest that the name could refer to a new colour for Ford’s vehicles.
The term ‘Black Diamond’ (used to mark challenging ski slopes) isn’t the first to be used by a car manufacturer. In 2003, Chevrolet launched the avalanche special edition black diamond truck which was later discontinued in 2012. If the Chevrolet black diamond truck had not been discontinued, Ford may have found their application opposed on the grounds of unregistered rights.
What are unregistered rights?
An unregistered trade mark is a mark that has not been registered with an Intellectual Property Office but has nevertheless gained existence of earlier rights through trading and developing a reputation with respect to the brands good and/or services.
Unregistered brands do have the rights to oppose an application during its opposition stage however, the unregistered party would be required to provide substantive evidence in order to have a strong case.
In the UK, only when the required reputation has been evidenced, can the opposing party be able to enforce their unregistered trade mark rights. The process can be both lengthy and costly which is why we always recommend filing an application to register your mark sooner than later!
If you have any questions relating to his article, or have any queries in relation to trade marks, contact the trademarkroom today where we would be happy to assist you.