Trademarking unused nameplates is a common practice in the auto industry. Dropping claims for a trademark, however, is very uncommon, but that’s just what General Motors did late last month with one of the Camaro's more-popular nameplates.
According to GM Authority, GM abandoned its claim to trademark IROC-Z on July 25. It’s unclear why GM decided to give up on the IROC-Z name, especially considering the company filed to secure the trademark just months earlier.
For those who need their memory jogged, IROC-Z was a trim package available for the Chevrolet Camaro Z28 starting in 1985. The package included visual and mechanical upgrades over the standard Camaro, and was issued to commemorate the Camaro’s participation in the International Race of Champions.
But before you get all teary eyed over the loss of a modern day Camaro IROC-Z, know this—GM’s trademark wasn’t for an automotive application. Instead, GM’s trademark was for Goods and Services and covered non-luminous and non-mechanical signs, t-shirts, and scale model vehicles. Those are the trademark filings GM gave up.
In fact, GM couldn’t trademark the IROC-Z name for a future model even if it wanted to. That’s because the automaker let its IROC-Z trademark lapse, and a now-defunct California company called 6LE Design scooped up the rights to the name for “Automobiles and structural parts thereof” in 2017.
Even if GM had the rights to the name, a future Camaro IROC-Z would be highly unlikely. GM scrapped plans for a seventh-generation Camaro earlier this year, with the current version of the pony car scheduled to end production in 2023.