The Dodge Dakota hasn't been in production since 2011 but a recent trademark filing may hint at a possible return of the mid-size pickup truck.

Motor Trend was first to notice that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles filed an application for trademark protection of the Dakota name with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on April 29.

Before you get too excited, we should point out that automakers often apply for trademarks simply to protect the rights to a name. Furthermore, FCA's Mopar aftermarket division currently sells a line of accessories for previous-generation Dakotas and the new trademark application could be for this reason.

Then again, many automakers have found success in recent years with their mid-size pickup truck offerings, especially Chevrolet, Ford, Nissan and Toyota. FCA also has a mid-size pickup in the form of the Jeep Gladiator, but the automaker's dedicated brand for commercial vehicles, Ram, is noticeably missing from the list. Perhaps a revived Dakota is just the ticket.

FCA CEO Mike Manley has previously hinted at a second mid-size pickup to join the Jeep Gladiator. And FCA's Fiat brand was selling a mid-size pickup called the Fullback until 2019, though this was a rebadged Mitsubishi. This means there's also an opportunity for a new mid-size pickup from Ram to be sold globally as a replacement for the Fullback.

Stay tuned.