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Thread: Mitsubishi's trademark woes: what to call new Mirage in U.S./Canada?

  1. #1

    Mitsubishi's trademark woes: what to call new Mirage in U.S./Canada?



    February 5, 2013
    by MirageForum.com

    Update: March 28, 2013 - Mitsubishi has apparently resolved the trademark issue and is going ahead with the "Mirage" name in the U.S. market.

    Picking the perfect name for a new baby can be a breeze for some parents and a stressful, complicated exercise for others. Guess which camp Mitsubishi finds itself in with its new pride and joy?

    The U.S. debut of the company's latest subcompact is set for next month in New York, and they're still sorting out what to call it. (In January, the company took the unusual step of unveiling it in Canada with no name at all!)

    The car in question is Mitsubishi's global subcompact hatchback - an efficient "world" car they've been progressively rolling out in various markets since last year.

    Mirage moniker... maybe

    The car launched first in Southeast Asia and Japan with a well-known name from Mitsu's past: "Mirage". Australia and New Zealand are just now getting the Mirage as well. The name also has a history in the U.S. and Canada, so it seems natural they would want to call it that here too.

    But having used a name in the distant past doesn't automatically guarantee the rights to use it today. After a certain amount of time out of production, a trademark effectively expires, and then it's up for grabs by anyone. Guess what happened to Mitsu's "Mirage" trademark?

    And as it turns out, more than one auto company would like to use the Mirage name. A search of public records on the US Trademark Office website reveals that three separate companies, including Mitsubishi, have submitted applications for the trademark (*** details below).

    Spoiler alert: the US Trademark Office hasn't granted the trademark to Mitsubishi.

    This wouldn't be the first time Mitsu has faced this issue: in parts of Europe, the new car will be called "Space Star". (Yes, Space Star.) Mirage isn't an option there - the rights to the name are held by other companies (+++ details below).

    I'd say it's a safe bet that Americans and Canadians will not see a "Space Star" at their Mitsubishi dealerships. I think it's also likely the company hasn't given up on "Mirage" either, and may still be approaching the problem from a different angle.

    New York: "Hello, My name is ???"

    No doubt, they are working feverishly on this name issue: the American premiere of the little eco car is slated for next month's New York Auto Show. The company surely doesn't want to repeat the Canadian "no-name" debut. Reached by email, a company employee simply said, "we are hoping to be able to announce the name when we unveil (in New York)."

    A few reports in Canadian media even suggested the company may be considering reviving the "Colt" badge (>>> details below). Mitsu does hold the US trademark for that name.

    Whatever it ends up being called, we're looking forward to getting a look at the North American version of this efficient little vehicle. And maybe it's no surprise, but we're rooting for "Mirage"...

    But a rose by any other name, right?


    -----------------------------

    *** Details ... U.S. Trademark applications for "Mirage"

    (In order of application filing date)

    1. Momo Motors Corporation, New York
    http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=85...e=statusSearch

    2. GEMBALLA GmbH, Germany
    http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=79...e=statusSearch

    3. MITSUBISHI MOTORS CORPORATION, Japan
    http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=85...e=statusSearch

    ----------------------------

    +++ Details ... European usage of Mirage:

    ...la marque japonaise a été confrontée à des problèmes de droits pour utilisation du nom Mirage dans différents marchés. Cette appellation est déjà utilisée dans une série d’avions de guerre construits par Dassailt Aviation. Mitsubishi a aussi éprouvé le même problème avec le nom Mirage GT qui est déjà utilisé par une super auto de la marque Gemballa, un véhicule dérivé de la Porsche Carrera GT.
    Source: http://www.lecourriersud.com/Autos/A...de-la-Mirage/1

    -----------------------------

    >>> Details ... "Colt" revival?

    Two French Canadian websites reported the reason for the car's nameless introduction in Canada is that the Colt name is under consideration:

    Présentement, la haute direction de Mitsubishi jongle toujours entre les noms Mirage ou Colt.
    Source: http://www.guideautoweb.com/articles/18910/

    Translation: "Currently, Mitsubishi upper management is waffling between the names Mirage or Colt."

    Petite note: il est possible que ce modèle s’appellera plutôt Mitsubishi Colt sur notre marché.
    Source: http://journalmetro.com/opinions/si-javais-un-char/223696/salon-de-lauto-de-montreal-2013-10-nouveautes-les-plus-attendues/

    A US trademark search shows that the "Colt" mark is in fact currently registered to Mitsubishi:http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=76...e=statusSearch


        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 60.4 mpg (US) ... 25.7 km/L ... 3.9 L/100 km ... 72.5 mpg (Imp)


  2. #2
    Senior Member jamiec's Avatar
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    If they don't get the rights back to use the Mirage name i think the next best name would be Colt as that name was used by Mitsu many years ago and was a small car to. And some peaple would make that connection with the past of Mitsubishi.

  3. #3
    Colt does make sense, since in North America, it was the name of Mitsu's smallest vehicle way back when. So it fits with the new Mirage's return to its minimalist, subcompact roots.

    I haven't had a look through the trademark records for Colt.

    All I know is the Trademark Office shows Mitsu hasn't applied for any new trademarks since their application for "Mirage". We can only guess what that means.

    Maybe they're waiting until the last minute to spring a new name on us. Or maybe they're working behind the scenes to be able to use Mirage - like coming to some mutually beneficial agreement with the current trademark holder.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 60.4 mpg (US) ... 25.7 km/L ... 3.9 L/100 km ... 72.5 mpg (Imp)


  4. #4
    Well, guess what? Mitsu currently holds the Colt trademark in the US (first post updated with US Trademark Office link). That makes it a stronger bet, eh?

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 60.4 mpg (US) ... 25.7 km/L ... 3.9 L/100 km ... 72.5 mpg (Imp)


  5. #5
    Senior Member jamiec's Avatar
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    Might have to add another name to the Forum. We have Mirage,Space Star and might have to add Colt.

  6. #6
    Ha. Yes - if we have to add another name it'll be even more crowded up there! But if they do spring a new name on us, let's hope for "Colt" ... because it's short!

    EDIT: it would be in keeping with Mitsu's convoluted naming history. They've never quite been consistent with Mirage/Colt in the past. Same car, different names all over the place.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 60.4 mpg (US) ... 25.7 km/L ... 3.9 L/100 km ... 72.5 mpg (Imp)


  7. #7
    Administrator Daox's Avatar
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    I'm still rooting for Mirage. Its confusing when a car gets too many names...
    Custom Mirage products: Cruise control kit, Glove box light, MAF sensor housing, Rear sway bar, Upper grill block

    Current project: DIY Nitrous oxide setup for ~$100

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 47.2 mpg (US) ... 20.1 km/L ... 5.0 L/100 km ... 56.7 mpg (Imp)


  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
    New York: "Hello, My name is ???"

    No doubt, they are working feverishly on this name issue: the American premiere of the little eco car is slated for next month's New York Auto Show. The company surely doesn't want to repeat the Canadian "no-name" debut. Reached by email, a company employee simply said, "we are hoping to be able to announce the name when we unveil (in New York)."
    Confirmed by email today: the company will announce the car's model name at the March 28th press conference for the NY auto show.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 60.4 mpg (US) ... 25.7 km/L ... 3.9 L/100 km ... 72.5 mpg (Imp)


  9. #9
    Senior Member jamiec's Avatar
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    What will it be the suspense is hard to take

  10. #10
    Member Matt's Avatar
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    To be honest, I thought the old mirage was one of the most bland cars ever sold. I think more positively about the old Colt (though I keep thinking of the Colt Vista, which was actually quite large)



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