Over the years we’ve talked about the Corvette’s first chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov and his quest to build a mid-engine Corvette. While his efforts were thwarted when he was at GM, as were the efforts of the chief engineers who would follow him, it finally looks like the long-awaited mid-engine Corvette is going to be revealed sometime later this year.
One of the ultimate tributes that may be in the works is the naming of a mid-engine Corvette model after Zora, and from fillings at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, we know that GM has already taken steps to secure the name Zora for use as the name of a motor vehicle. GM filed their original trademark for the ZORA name in 2014, and it did so again just last month.
The latest filing was done on December 12, 2018 and shows GM wants to secure the ZORA name to be used for “Motor land vehicles, namely, automobiles”:
I went back and looked at the 2014 filing (below). It notes an “Assignment Recording” whereas the 2018 filing doesn’t have that. The USPTO has a section on Assignments which it defines as “the act of transferring to another the ownership of one’s property, i.e., the interest and rights to the property.”
Our thinking is GM was assigned the rights in 2014 from another entity and then re-registered or renewed it in Dec 2018 without the assignment. Other than the fact that GM still is interested in reserving the name Zora for a vehicle name, I doubt this is anything other than standard legal work by the corporation’s trademark lawyers.
Not only is GM busy securing the trademark name of ZORA here in the United States, but it has also made a concerted effort to register the name in key international markets that include the United Kingdon, European Union, China, Japan, Korea, and Australia.
The consensus view from C8 watchers is that ZORA will not be used as the base cars name and instead may be reserved for the ultimate mid-engine Corvette that would come several years from now. One of the persistent rumors is that the King of the Hill version of the C8 will be a hybrid twin-turbo V8 with 800 horsepower while electric motors on the front wheels would offer an additional 200 horsepower for a total of 1,000.
Regardless of how the ZORA name is used during the C8 rollout, we think naming a model or special edition after the Corvette’s first chief engineer would be a fantastic tribute to the man who dedicated the second half of his life to the Chevrolet Corvette.
GM Trademarks the Mid-Engine Corvette Name of ZORA Across the World…Including China!
GM Trademarks the Iconic Name of Corvette’s First Chief Engineer “Zora”
Today in Corvette History: GM Receives Registered Trademark for the Corvette