Ford may have scrapped the idea to call its so-called "baby Bronco" the Maverick or Timberline. A new trademark filing shows the Blue Oval has now moved to protect the "Puma" name. 

Australian publication GoAuto first discovered the trademark filing and reported last Friday it was submitted to the World Intellectual Property Office. One trademark filing is for Australia, while the other is for New Zealand. Crucially, Ford has abandoned its trademark for the Maverick name, which appeared to be a front-runner for the baby Bronco. The applications were filed in late October and early November. In Europe, Ford still controls the name, but it does not own the trademark in the United States.

The Australian trademark could foreshadow a U.S. filing, but we haven't spotted one—yet.

Americans won't likely recall the Puma, but Ford previously built a sporty coupe that wore the nameplate. The Puma debuted in 1997 and ended production at Ford's Cologne, Germany, plant in 2002. Its resurrection would be a far cry from the original model, but a mountain-dwelling big cat does pair well with its larger brother, the Bronco.

Ford's upcoming small off-road crossover SUV

Ford's upcoming small off-road crossover SUV

Despite Ford kindling a relationship between the two vehicles, the baby Bronco will only resemble the new Bronco; it won't actually share any significant parts. The smaller off-roader will ride on Ford's new modular front- and all-wheel-drive platform that underpins the new Focus. While the Ford Ranger pickup will share its bones with the Bronco, the baby Bronco will be far less capable.

Leaked images indicate it will look the part, however. Last week, images showed the small and rugged crossover SUV for the first time. The design pulls a lot of motifs from the original Bronco, with retro cues in all the right places.

We expect to see Ford's baby Bronco debut sometime next year, however. Whether it comes before or after the highly anticipated new Bronco remains to be seen.