Is the baby Bronco the Bronco Scout?

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Ford Bronco logo via off-road.com

We know from Ford’s product plans that it intends to bring a small, unibody based SUV to the market before the larger, rugged Bronco currently under development goes on sale. Based on a trademark registration, it now looks like Ford may be giving the cute ute a historic name, though it’s one associated with another truck company. It’s unclear at this time if Ford will have to negotiate for its use.

Autoverdict has found a filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) wherein Ford has registered the word-mark “BRONCO SCOUT” for use on “Land motor vehicles, namely, passenger automobiles, pick-up trucks, sport utility vehicles,” and related components and accessories. Ford also filed for a second registration on just the word “SCOUT.”

Ford could be planning on an expanded, rugged off-road Bronco sub-brand so the new Scout trademark might be for the “baby Bronco” or it could be for a trim line on the regular Bronco. Or, it could end up never being used. Car companies routinely tie up trademarks that never get branded on actual products. We’ll know the answer sometime next year, when the little SUV arrives at dealers as a 2021 model.

Leaked photos of the 2020 Ford Bronco
via off-road.com

No matter the name, the baby Bronco will share a platform with the Ford Escape, Lincoln Corsair and the next-generation Ford Focus.

If the name Scout sounds familiar to you, that’s because when International was still in the passenger vehicle business, it sold a small SUV called the Scout from 1961–80. Originally designed as a competitor to the Jeep CJ and Jeepster, the Scout competed directly with the Bronco after Ford introduced that model in 1965.

International Harvester first registered the Scout trademark in 1960. That trademark registration was canceled and it is considered “dead” by the USPTO. Interestingly, however, the International Truck Intellectual Property Company does have an active trademark registration for the word Scout on “land vehicles over 2400 pounds gross vehicle weight.” I’m not a trademark lawyer, but it seems to me that Ford and that registrant would have to come to some kind of agreement before we see a Bronco Scout on the road.

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