Norton Trademark Filings Hint at Company's Future Under TVS
Norton Motorcycle has filed trademark applications for several names from its history that may portend the company’s future under the ownership of TVS Motor.
The trademark applications, filed this week with the European Union Intellectual Property Office, are the first potential model names registered by the British company since TVS acquired it this April for 16 million pounds (US$20.8 million). The applications are for “Norton Electra“, “Norton Fastback“, “Norton Navigator“, “Norton Nomad“, “Norton Ranger” and “Combat“.
The Electra, Fastback, Navigator, Nomad and Ranger names were all previously used by the company in the ’60s and ’70s. The Navigator was a 349cc Twin produced from 1960 to 1965. The Electra was an offshoot, with the same engine bored out to 383cc in 1963 (which means it predates the 1965 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide). The Fastback was a name applied to the Norton Commando 750 in the 1970s. In 1972, the Commando received a new engine named the “Combat”.
Norton produced the P11A Ranger from 1967 to 1969 while the Nomad was even earlier, dating back to the ’50s as a derivative of the Norton Dominator. More recently, the Nomad and Ranger names were used as variants of the Norton Atlas, a 650cc scrambler first announced in 2018 and currently listed on the company’s website as being available in 2021.
So, what do we make of these names? In each application, the names were filed for use with “vehicles; apparatus for locomotion by land; motorcycles; mopeds; scooters; mobility scooters / motor scooters; parts and fittings for motorcycles and vehicles,” suggesting TVS intends to use these names for new vehicles. This also rules out the theory these names will just be used on various merchandise celebrating the brand’s history, as that would also be listed in the application for intended use in goods and services.
The Stuart Garner-era Norton Motorcycle Co. is best known for its retro-styled models like the Commando and Dominator (pictured above), but the company no longer lists them among its current range. As of this writing, Norton lists only four models, the Atlas Nomad, the Atlas Ranger, the V4 RR sportbike and the limited edition V4 SS. The absence of the Dominator and Commando leaves an opening for a new range of roadsters with classic British styling.
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