Mazda is keen to keep its classic names from falling into other's hands as the Japanese automaker has filed to renew the the trademark for the name "MX-6."

The company filed the trademark with the Japanese Patent Office in October before it was published to the online archives in November. AutoGuide first discovered the trademark in a Monday report.

For those who don't recall, the Mazda MX-6 was sold from 1987 until 1997 in the United States. The front-wheel-drive coupe was hardly a sales success, but a GT model featured a turbo-4 engine that made a punchy 145 horsepower. The second-generation MX-6 debuted in 1992 and was twinned with the Ford Probe sport coupe. An available 2.5-liter V-6 increased output to 164 hp. Again, the MX-6 failed to attract a fanbase and Mazda pulled the sport coupe from the market after 11 years and two generations.

A trademark filing does not necessarily mean an automaker has a new product in the pipeline. Instead, more often than not, a company wants to protect its names from use elsewhere. We'd imagine it's the latter case for Mazda's latest trademark. The company has been focused on positioning itself as a more premium brand and moved away from sportier offerings. At the 2018 LA Auto Show, Mazda CEO Akira Marumoto said there are no plans for a rotary sports car. How about a new Mazdaspeed 3? Also no.

Mazda RX-Vision concept, 2015 Tokyo Motor Show

Mazda RX-Vision concept, 2015 Tokyo Motor Show

The lack of a sporty performance car flies in the face of the stunning RX-Vision concept the company showed at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show. Instead, it appears the sports car concept previewed the brand's future design language, which is on full display with the 2019 Mazda 3 sedan and hatchback.

Mazda Spokesman Tim Olson told Motor Authority, "We re-applied to the patent office to keep the rights to the trademark because “MX-” is part of our current naming system, not because we want to use the name for a product."