In early December, Ford filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office for the name "Model E." Historically, Ford never produced a Model E, and while automakers are known to file for trademarks they never use, some have wondered if the application might be used for a concept car.

Based on other recent events, though, it could be a legal move. In 2000 Ford sued an online start-up called Model E over the similarity of that name to Ford's industry-shaping Model T, but the judge dismissed the case citing lack of proper grounds. In August 2013, Tesla applied for trademark registration for Model E, and at the time, Ford said it would review the application. Tesla actually made two applications for Model E, one for automobiles and structural parts therefore, the other for "providing maintenance and repair services for automobiles," and there are plenty of theories about what the name could be applied to.

The Published for Opposition date for Tesla's applications is December 31, 2013, after which anyone who thinks they'd be harmed by Tesla being granted the trademark gets 30 days to register their issues. This is just speculation, but Ford's application - which was filed for automobiles only - might be about protecting what it sees as unwelcome encroachment on the name Model T, protection it wasn't able to enforce before when the stakes were only online and much smaller.


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  • 32 Comments
      dacelbot
      • 11 Months Ago
      Crazy conspiracy theory: what if, instead of just to block Tesla, they want the name to use for an all new electric car platform that is similarly momentous/ground breaking/hopefully market defining to the Model T? Very unlikely, but it'd be cool right?
      Temple
      • 11 Months Ago
      Tesla is also preparing a "Model E". Its suppose to be their mass market electric car. Wonder if the trademark will be challenged by either side.
        pkchari
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Temple
        I think Musk has made it clear that the trademarks themselves are also not arbitrary... They already have a model S and a model X... and a model E forthcoming... hmmm. Any bets that a Model Y will follow?
        Dean Hammond
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Temple
        then there's Audi's E-Trons.....personally i dont think this is a vendetta in any way or form against Tesla...over 10 years ago Ford had an Escort based concept called "E" ( for Electric I believe )....it could be something they are still working on as Electric and Hybrids seem to becoming more and more accepted as mainstream....
      m_2012
      • 11 Months Ago
      Anything to go against Tesla. Almost 100 years of not using a name, and now they want it after successful Model S. Go away Ford, you have MK3POx4
      Black Dyanmite
      • 11 Months Ago
      E stands for EPA Scam Artist BD
        Lucid Renegade
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Black Dyanmite
        Chill out there, Big Dummy.
        Smilez1105
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Black Dyanmite
        Worst...post...ever.
          Smilez1105
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Smilez1105
          I mean seriously DB, did you hit 'Submit' and tell yourself how dumb it was for you to post that? How in hell did it go through your head to say: E = Environmental Protection Agency Scam Artist Tell me your 3-year old hijacked your computer...SOMETHING!
        Avinash Machado
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Black Dyanmite
        Jealous that Ford is stealing Toyota marketshare?
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Avinash Machado
          [blocked]
          Black Dyanmite
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Avinash Machado
          Slow your ignorance..... BD
      m_2012
      • 11 Months Ago
      Go home Ford, you're drunk. Tesla is already making a product with this name. Just because you had a car 100 years ago with Model in the name doesn't mean anything or mean you can claim every model name. Tesla will just call it the 'E' and people will refer to it as the Model E. You still lose.
      m_2012
      • 11 Months Ago
      Try to say this isn't anything against Tesla. What is the first thing everyone thought about with 'Model E'? - Tesla. Tesla will just name it something else if they don't win the trademark. No big deal.
        answerinmachine3
        • 11 Months Ago
        @m_2012
        The first thing I thought about with 'Model E' is 'electric car'. If you are 12, I can see how Tesla might be the first thing you think about. Model E would confuse what Tesla is doing, since all of their 'Models' are 'E.'
        • 11 Months Ago
        @m_2012
        [blocked]
      Spartan
      • 11 Months Ago
      Ford is trolling Tesla.
        john96xlt
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Spartan
        Really? Did they use a time machine to do it? They've been after the name Model E since the early 2000s, in case you missed that in the article. That was before Tesla ever existed.
          carlotta
          • 11 Months Ago
          @john96xlt
          Ford should be forced to call their next model "E" for Edsel. Or at least Pinto. That's their heritage people should remember.
      carlotta
      • 11 Months Ago
      E is for Edsel, Ford's best known product.
      m_2012
      • 11 Months Ago
      Ford made a Model S before the model T. They didn't have any problem with that. Why are they worried now?
      Andrew
      • 11 Months Ago
      whast the e for? Extremely crappy?
      Mylifeisjdm
      • 11 Months Ago
      Sex! It spells SEX everyone. Just thought I'd get that out of the way.
      Eta Carinae
      • 11 Months Ago
      Dont worry the Tesla Model ə will still be going to production....
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