By on March 22, 2011

Renault has had quite a bit of success in recent years with its budget-brand Dacia, prompting Peugeot-Citroen to reach back into its bag of abandoned brands for a name to put behind its own low-cost car offerings. Having briefly considered the Talbot name, it seems that PSA has settled on something a little more modern and relevant to low-cost offerings: Simca. Which makes quite a bit of sense, if you think about it. Rather than naming a budget brand after the makers of hugely expensive pre-WWII luxury cars (a trick Chrysler tried once already with the Horizon), PSA can reference one of the most influential (if forgotten) small-car brands. At least, it can if it deals with that most modern of problems, the patent troll. AutoBild reports

Joachim W. “Simca” signed in September 2007 at the German Patent and Trademark Office as a trademark for the class “cars”. Then a cancellation request was made ​​- probably by Peugeot. The French made at least one attempt to register Simca on 2 June 2008, whereupon Joachim W. submitted an application for cancellation.

It’s not clear what claim Mr Simca might have on the name, as SIMCA stands for Société Industrielle de Mécanique et Carrosserie Automobile.

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24 Comments on “Simca Returns (Pending German Patent Troll)...”


  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I don’t get it. Wasn’t there an existing copyright/patent on the name, from when it was used previously?

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    So THIS is what the Naked Archaeologist drives at home?

  • avatar
    Yuppie

    Technically Mr. Simca would be a trademark squatter (like a cybersquatter who registers and hogs domain names), not a patent troll.

  • avatar
    Tosh

    Who doesn’t understand Herr Simca trying to make a buck? (much like Zoe Renault….)

  • avatar
    mechimike

    I hope they bring back the Chambord, complete with a 60 HP flathead V8.  The world needs more sorta-old-American-car-looking European compacts.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Eggsalad raises an interesting question. Chrysler sold its entire Simca/Rootes operation to Peugeot, so they should already own the trademark, unless Chrysler retained it.  I doubt that Chrysler turned over any nameplate trademarks to “old” Chrysler. 

    Just what ARE the rules for retaining trademark protection on old nameplates? Is there a use-it-or-lose-it clause? Some sort of time limit? A periodic refiling requirement?

    • 0 avatar
      thirty-three

      I’m sure Bertel knows more about German trademark law.  Perhaps he can provide some insight.

    • 0 avatar

      According to Wikipedia ..
       
      “Trademarks rights must be maintained through actual lawful use of the trademark. These rights will cease if a mark is not actively used for a period of time, normally 5 years in most jurisdictions.”
       
      So it would seem it could have lapsed. However, I imagine somewhere there’s still parts catalogs, property deeds and patents with SIMCA listed on them so Peugeot could claim the name never died no matter how deep it was buried.

    • 0 avatar

      Not so fast, boys & girls:

      According to my research at the Deutsches Patentamt, a trademark for “Simca 1100 City Laster” was applied for in Feb 1973 by Chrysler Deutschland with an illegible address. This mark was granted in Jan 74. In Feb 83, the mark was extended ( you need to do that every 10 years and pay the fee.) There is no record of an extension in Feb 93. The mark was cancelled in 5 96, and the file destroyed.

      On 9/2007, a Woehler, Joachim, 51674 Wiehl, DE applied for “Simca” with seniority under class Nizza 12. The registration was not challenged. The mark is protected until 9/2017. Mr Woehler owns “Simca”. There is no “Mr. Simca.” There is a Joachim Woehler.

      On 6/2008, Automobiles PEUGEOT Société anonyme, Paris, FR, applied for “SIMCA”.

      The mark was challenged on 12/2009. The challenge is pending.

      On 3/2010, an application to cancel the mark has been filed by a third person.

      In France on the other hand, the “SIMCA” mark had been registered in 1959 and unless extended, the protection stops in 2019.

      Peugeot was asleep at the wheel. The should have challenged “Simca” in 2007. Now, if I were them, I’d just make an offer.

  • avatar

    What is the point, I did not get it. I thought Renault is a very cheap brand already. How cheaper it can get, cheaper than typical Chinese brand? SIMCA was French branch established by FIAT and become part of FIAT-Chrysler alliance in 60s-70s. Fiatsler has everything to do with SIMCA but what is Renault’s relationship to SIMCA, am I missing something?
    On the side note, I had impression that European automakers are on verge of consolidation because of market saturation and socialist governments. Now Koreans are growing fast in Europe and Chinese are inevitably also coming soon with cheap brands and Volvo so I do not see in Europe a bright future  for not only cheap Zombie brands but also luxurious Zombie brands like Daimler’s Hyundai copycat.

    • 0 avatar
      gromit

      I think you’d better read the article again. It’s Peugeot who are reviving Simca, not Renault. Peugeot bought Simca from Chrysler at the end of the 70s.
       
       

  • avatar
    Joss

    Peugeot always did have a low cost offerings. Called the 203/204/104. No need to acquire Simca tainted by Chrysler. Work on the Peugeot numeric’s. Similar goes for Citroen. Are we trying to expand market outside of France?

  • avatar
    Joss

    If memory serves me right the Peugeot 304 gave Simca quite a bashing.

  • avatar

    Why not call it S.I.M.C.A. and tell the German gentleman to boil his head

  • avatar
    GS650G

    So,  as I understand it hungry masses are waiting for the chance to drive a Simca-something or other? Does this name evoke grand visions of speed, quality or frugality that warrants chasing after a long dead name for another Chrysler misadventure.
    I think I’ll trademark Aztek someday after it expires, surely a French company will come along and want to make ugly-ass hatchbacks which look like they are made from Legos. And they’ll be eager to pay for the name.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I remember as a kid back in the late 60’s early 70’s our local Chrysler dealer used to sell these. Superbird’s and Roadrunners on the display out front with some Simca’s parked over on the side. The Dodge dealer down the road sold Sunbeams. If only Chrysler had the sense to keep and improve Rootes and Simca enabling them to be a sucessful global company.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Chrysler’s misadventure was Rootes Group. They sold Hillmans and Sunbeams and a couple other nameplates, but weren’t profitable. The Simcas sold well, and that division always made a profit.  There was a Chrysler history written by somebody that mentioned Chysler’s plan was to also buy out NSU and Borgward for Chrysler-Europe, but those purchases fell through and prevented Chrysler from being a success in Europe. In any event, Simca wasn’t the problem.

    • 0 avatar

      Chrysler was the problem as usual They bought Rootes which had 2 new cars coming into production and simply kept stamping them out never spending anything to update either for years no wonder eventually these cars stopped selling. The Hillman Hunter factory went to Iran and latterly used Peugeot engines everything else got scrapped

  • avatar
    John Horner

    In general, trademarks have a use it or loose it character. I’m not, however, at all adept in European trademark law.
     

  • avatar
    djn

    I think more of Fiat when I think of the great FIAT co-engineered SIMCA cars, Simca 1000 and the great collection of Abarth SIMCAs.  Sergio, you listening?

    Maybe Marcelo can put in his 2 R$ worth about the Simca’s made in Brasil…

  • avatar
    mechimike

    They need to go back to making great cars like the SIMCA Chambord, preferably powered by a flathead Ford V8 making about 60HP.  We need more sorta-American-looking-European small cars. 

  • avatar
    oldowl

    I actually owned a 1962 Simca. The only good thing about it was the paint job.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Our family had a 1958 Simca Vedette Beaulieu during an Air Force posting in France.
    Just like this:
    http://quazen.com/recreation/autos/fascinating-french-classic-cars-the-simca-vedette-series/
     
    It had a tiny little V8, sourced from Ford, I believe.  We covered 140,000 miles in Europe in 4 years with it, and I don’t recall any major repairs.  With relatives visiting from Canada, we once did a month-long camping trip around Europe with 4 adults and 3 kids in it.
     
    My dad had it shipped back to Ontario, where rust quickly devoured it.  There was a US-spec version, so some must have been sold here.  The US-spec version had three separate round tail light lenses where the European version had a large divided red/amber lens.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Our family had a 1958 Simca Vedette Beaulieu during an Air Force posting in France.
    Just like this:
    http://quazen.com/recreation/autos/fascinating-french-classic-cars-the-simca-vedette-series/
     
    It had a tiny little V8, sourced from Ford, I believe.  We covered 140,000 miles in Europe in 4 years with it, and I don’t recall any major repairs.  With relatives visiting from Canada, we once did a month-long camping trip around Europe with 4 adults and 3 kids in it.
     
    After his posting, my dad had it shipped back to Ontario, where rust quickly devoured it.  There was a US-spec version, so some must have been sold here.  The US-spec version had three separate round tail light lenses where the European version had a large divided red/amber lens.

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