Ford on June 28 applied for trademark protection for the “Rattler” name with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

The move doesn’t necessarily guarantee Ford will launch a vehicle bearing Rattler as part or all of its name, as automakers often trademark names simply to protect them in case of a future need, but CarBuzz seems to think that Rattler could point to a new variant of the 2022 Ford Maverick compact pickup—one aimed at off-roaders.

The term rattler can refer to rattlesnakes, an animal that conjures up images of harsh desert terrain. A potential Maverick Rattler serving as a little brother to the F-150 Raptor and upcoming Ranger Raptor is sure to find some fans.

2022 Ford Maverick

2022 Ford Maverick

The car-derived Maverick was only revealed in June and is due at dealerships in late 2021. It will initially be offered with usual Ford pickup trim levels including the FX4 off-road trim, but it's a safe bet Ford will eventually add new variants.

The Maverick will have two powertrains on offer at launch. The base option is a hybrid setup featuring a 2.5-liter inline-4 as its internal-combustion component. The setup is good for 191 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque. Buyers seeking more power will be able to opt for a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 rated at 250 hp and 277 lb-ft.

Ford has been busy with its trademark filing. We also learned in June that the Blue Oval renewed its trademark for “Splash,” a name previously used for a performance-oriented Ranger variant in the 1990s. There's a redesigned Ranger just around the corner, and perhaps it will revive the Ranger Splash.