FCA Trademarks "Cuda" Name, Blocks "Barracuda"
The U.S. Patent & Trademark office (USPTO) has officially approved "Cuda" as a trademark of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. At the same time, the agency blocked a similar application for the "Barracuda" nameplate.
According to Allpar, FCA has received a third extension of the trademark earlier this month, leaving the company with just two more before the USPTO will declare that the application has been abandoned. Specifically, unless it shows that the name was being used on a product in interstate commerce (as a vehicle, part, trim, or badge). the manufacturer will only be able to retain the "Cuda" name until June 2017.
As for the "Barracuda" name, the situation is rather hilarious, as FCA filed a new application in 2015 without officially cancelling the first application submitted in early 2012. As a result, the USPTO refused the second application because it was a duplicate. Both of them are now under examination, but a decision has yet to be taken, leaving FCA stuck should it want to release products, such as merchandise items or even a concept car, wearing the "Barracuda" name.
Whatever the case, these trademarks raise a very important question. Is FCA planning to revive the Cuda or the Barracuda, or both?
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Why it matters
There have been several rumors on the matter in recent years, but Chrysler has yet to officially confirm that it plans to revive any of them. At some point, SRT said there will be a Barracuda by the end of the decade, but the brand’s return under Dodge appears to have pun an end to that. More recently, there were rumors that FCA showed a Dodge Barracuda convertible alongside the next-generation Charger at a dealer presentation in Las Vegas, but no one has really confirmed that scenario in the last four months.
Sure, that doesn’t mean that FCA isn’t considering reviving one or both nameplates, but the fact that the company has been struggling to extend these trademarks for more than one year makes things rather foggy. One thing’s for sure though, Dodge’s thin lineup of cars would have plenty of room for two new models. Chrysler could consider both a convertible version of the Challenger under a different name, as well as a smaller, sportier muscle car. At least one of them could be built on the same platform as the new Alfa Romeo Giulia.
The last time Chrysler showcased anything related to those name was in 2007, when the Challenger-based Cuda concept was launched. The Barracuda was discontinued in 1974 following the 1973 oil crisis, after only ten years in production. Launched as the Barracuda in 1964, Plymouth’s iconic pony car was known as the Cuda starting in 1970, with the arrival of the third-generation model.
Read our full review on the 1970 - 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda here.