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

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

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.

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Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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 1 comment
  • Perry F. Bruns Perry F. Bruns on Jun 06, 2016

    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...