The term "iconic" gets thrown around a lot, but if there was ever a design worthy of the honorific, surely it's the Honda Super Cub. That's not just our opinion, though: it's the official word from the Japanese Patent Office, which has recognized the classic scooter's shape with a three-dimensional trademark.

The category was introduced in Japan back in 1997 to immortalize distinctive designs, and is subject to very strict criteria. In fact, this marks the first time it has been applied to a vehicle – and one of the few industrial products to be awarded the recognition.

Little wonder it was applied to this little wonder, too. With over 87 million units made since its introduction in 1958, Honda claims the Super Cub to be "the world's largest selling vehicle," with production taking place at 15 factories in 14 countries and sales in 160 markets around the world.
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The iconic design and shape of the world's largest selling vehicle, Honda's Super Cub scooter, has been recognised with it becoming the first vehicle in Japan to be granted a three-dimensional trademark.

Introduced in Japan in 1997, three-dimensional trademarks can be granted to a product which has acquired distinctiveness through long and extensive use. Very strict criteria is applied to registrations, and the Super Cub becomes one of very few industrial products to achieve such status.

A key determining factor for the Japan Patent Office when considering the very rare endorsement was the consistent design concept which Honda has maintained with the Super Cub over more than 50 years since it was introduced in 1958; while continuously achieving functional improvements throughout its long history.

The Super Cub is the world's largest selling vehicle, with cumulative worldwide production reaching 87 million units* as of March 2014, and sales across more than 160 countries.

Honda Super Cub production

Honda is currently producing the Super Cub series at 15 production plants in 14 countries around the world; most notably Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brazil, China, Nigeria and Japan. Cumulative worldwide production figures are as follows:

10 million units* - August 1974

50 million units* - December 2005

60 million units* - April 2008

87 million units* – March 2014

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wonder how this will affect currently available products like the Sym Symba ( that are pretty much clones of the original with minor updates.
        • 1 Year Ago
        I doubt it. The 3D trademark was only issued for Japan so the rest of the world is free game.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Most popular bike in the world which we don't get in the states anymore.
        • 1 Year Ago
        anymore? means I could find one used??
          • 1 Year Ago
          Honda stopped importing the Cub in 1983. Our you could buy a new SYM Symba. SYM produced the Cub for Honda for decades. It is a reproduction of the old Cub, carburetors and all for $2200. The sad thing is that the current Honda Sub Cub is fuel injected and sells for only $1700 in Mexico.
          • 1 Year Ago
          Heres the current one
      • 1 Year Ago
      A worthy recipient.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Growing up in Japan, I saw these everywhere. The guy delivering the newspaper rode one. The local ramen shop delivery guy rode one. The local policemen rode one. These things were and still are, everywhere.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I hope they've fixed the sludge trap. It's so hard to take apart and clean.