The Ford-GM rivalry is one of the oldest in the automotive world. Mustang vs. Camaro; F-150 vs. Silverado. The two slugged it out even more fiercely in Australia’s Bathurst races. Now, as the debut of the new Bronco draws close, Ford has taken the latest potshot against its cross-town rival. A recent patent filing revealed that the Ford Bronco may have swiped the Black Diamond trademark from GM.
The Original Black Diamond Truck
As GM Authority and Motor1—which reported this news—detail, the ‘Black Diamond’ name was originally used on a Chevy product. When the Chevrolet Avalanche truck was about to head out, Chevy wanted to send it off with some style (and lower price). So, for the final 2013 model year, people could buy a Chevrolet Avalanche Black Diamond. Highlights included special body trim, more standard features, and a Black Diamond badge on the exterior.
GM hasn’t used the Black Diamond name for any product since.
How Can There Be a Ford Bronco Black Diamond?
GM may have trademarked ‘Black Diamond’ originally, but as Motor1 points out, trademarks expire. That’s what allows a company like Google to lose ownership of google.com, for example.
And to be fair, Ford has not specifically trademarked ‘Bronco Black Diamond’, or any variation on that name. Ford has trademarked ‘Bronco Scout’ and ‘Bronco Sport’, amongst other names. But on the patent filing, Ford only earmarked the Black Diamond name for “land motor vehicles, namely, passenger automobiles, pick-up trucks, sport vehicles”. Basically, Ford could stick ‘Black Diamond’ on anything from the Mustang to the F-150, not just on the Bronco.
Why Would There Be a Ford Bronco Black Diamond?
Intent is tricky to determine, especially given the filing’s wording applying to most of Ford’s lineup. But there are several possible explanations.
One is for the as-yet unconfirmed Bronco convertible pickup truck. If that did turn into an actual product, it would need its own name.
In addition, as Motor1 points out, Ford is positioning the Bronco as a Jeep Wrangler rival. Although the base Wrangler isn’t exactly a slouch at off-roading, there’s a reason the more hard-core Rubicon exists. Ford does have its Raptors, but they’re more for Baja racing than rock-crawling. Outside of cars, the toughest ski slopes are marked with black diamond symbols. Perhaps Ford was inspired to name their reborn off-roader after the kinds of trails it can conquer. What is clear, is that the Ford Bronco can’t get here quick enough.