As we’ve written a number of times in the past, we assiduously follow trademark filings by Toyota, as well as its Lexus and Scion brands for the clues and insights they provide into future product plans. As editor of my.IS, this author has written about the United States and Canadian filings for Lexus’ IS 250C / IS 300C / IS 350C and CT 200h (plus possible upcoming CT 300h and CT 400h variants) months or even years before their release. Here at Kaizen Factor we’ve written similar stories about Scion FR-S, Lexus ES 300h and TX, which we believe is earmarked for the long-rumored Lexus sub-RX small crossover SUV, not to mention the flurry of speculation unleashed by a rumored refiling by Toyota of the Supra trademark. And U.S. and Canadian patent offices are hardly the sole source for this sort of information, as the action has recently shifted Down Under with Australian trademarks for Lexus’ upcoming IS 300h and GS 300h.
Model names are by no means the only trademarkable items, as we reported on the registering of the “86” piston logo back in January 2011. Now comes word, via my.IS moderator k3vo of even more offbeat and unexpected trademark filings for the new face of Lexus, namely the spindle grille in a number of mesh insert iterations. On 26 April 2012, Toyota Motor Corporation filed four trademark applications in Canada and one in the U.S.
The first of these, shown at the top of our story, is Canadian Trademark Application No. 1575185, and features a zigzag mesh insert of the style used in F Sport versions of Lexus’ CT, IS, GS, RX and, soon, LS lines. This was immediately followed by a vertical bar iteration as shown to the right of the second paragraph above, and was filed under Canadian Trademark Application No. 1575186. Notably, none of the model lines that have to date received the spindle grille (CT, GS, LX, RX and ES) use such a vertical pattern. Is Lexus merely hedging its bets here, or can we take this as a clue that, say, the non-F Sport versions of the 3rd-generation IS will wear such an evolutionary vertical pattern? More pleasing to this author’s eye is the third Canadian filing (Application No. 1575191), as shown above left, for the predominantly horizontal pattern used on 2013 LX and ES, as well as non-F Sport versions of CT, GS and RX.
The fourth and final Canadian Trademark Application (No. 1575192) is, perhaps, the most crucial one, for it covers just the simple, basic spindle grille outline or perimeter as shown at right, regardless of texture or pattern contained within.
In the past, most if not all U.S. and Canadian trademark applications have exactly mirrored each other but, in this instance, it seems that the two countries have each gone their own way. Whereas Canada has filed for the four variants illustrated in the previous paragraphs, the United States filed just the single catchall design shown at left, under Application No. 85609282, for the spindle grille outline containing an oval for the Lexus “Circle L” logo.