Someone is Trying to Trademark Pontiac and Oldsmobile and Will Probably Fail

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Someone is Trying to Trademark Pontiac and Oldsmobile and Will Probably Fail

A Florida man is trying to trademark the Oldsmobile and Pontiac names.

Both brands flew under the General Motors banner when they existed, but Oldsmobile was phased out in 2004 while Pontiac received the same treatment in early 2010. Now a trademark application has appeared on the United States Patent and Trademark Office with Sylvan Mackaness of Olds Motor Works, Inc. trying to register both the Pontiac and Oldsmobile names. Mackaness appears to be an entrepreneur from St. Petersburg, Florida and it’s interesting that he lists his company as Olds Motor Works, Inc., a similar company name that Oldsmobile used in 1897.

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GM’s trademarks for the two brands for use in automobiles has lapsed, but it’s unlikely that Mackaness’s application will be approved. It probably doesn’t help his case that his application for Oldsmobile included as a specimen a picture of an Audi Type D race car from the 30s with the four-rings emblem removed.

We’ve reached out to Mackaness to ask about his plans for the trademarks, but still haven’t heard back from him.

Discuss this story on our General Motors Forum

  • It should be refused based on market confusion: That is, the USPTO would decline to allow the trademark to be reregistered because people would reasonably (but mistakenly) assume that the new company has some connection with GM. There’s also 100 years of prior art for both Olds and Pontiac…