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Toyota has filed for a trademark in the US for the Prius Prime, but the documents give no hints as to what the vehicle might be.

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Apple has filed for a patent to let your smartphone also act as a car key. While some automakers have apps that already do that, this solution lets users selectively share the functionality with other devices.

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Recent patent filings appear to indicate that Yamaha might be thinking about bringing a leaning, three-wheeled electric scooter to the US. While the idea of a trike cycle is hardly new – after all Yamaha already has its own Tricity – this one would have its dual wheels in the back with each one powered by its own electric motor. According to Visor Down, the Japanese company submitted for an application on the same vehicle in Europe, as well.

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It's frightening to think of how quickly the mice would have overtaken us if we hadn't stayed one step ahead of them with better mousetraps. We'll never have to worry about that in our relentlessly re-engineered world, though. Case in point: Chrysler has been granted a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office for an improved design of the already wondrous Stow 'n' Go seating found in the automaker's Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans.

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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.

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Although a report last year indicated that the seventh-gen Chevrolet Corvette could be getting an eight-speed automatic transmission, it looks like General Motors might have some other plans in mind. General Motors recently filed a patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office for a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and CorvetteForum.com makes the obvious guess that this performance-enhancing gearbox could find its way a future version of Chevy's performance coupe.

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