ABC Radio, For The Record, GM Still Owns The Rights To Oldsmobile

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Mark Twain once said "a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." Thanks to radio and the web, it can now travel all the way around the world. Remember that list of automotive April Fools' Day jokes? Remember that C&D and Automobile joke about Toyota securing Olds' naming rights? Someone took it to be the truth. And that person was Ron Chapman, filling in for Paul Harvey on his extremely popular ABC Radio show. Ugh. In case you were curious, the appropriate Trademarks are here and here, and they are both owned by GM and good until 2011 according to the US Patent and Trademark Office. The crappy urban legend in the making below the jump.

VMSoA Broadcast Transcript

Date April 02, 2008
Time 11:45 AM - 12:00 PM
Station Syndicated Radio
Location Network
Program Paul Harvey

RON CHAPMAN, anchor:

And remember about four years ago, General Motors
discontinued their car line known as Oldsmobile. I saw
this story yesterday and I kind of thought it was an April
Fools'. It turns out it's not.

General Motors stopped manufacturing Oldsmobiles, stopped
making them in 2004. David Gluckman of Automobile Magazine
says they apparently also stopped paying any attention to
the name Oldsmobile as well and the copyright on the
Oldsmobile name ran out and nobody at General Motors
noticed. But one person in the US Copyright Office did,
saw the name was freely available, called a relative who
worked for Toyota.

So, as of this day, the name Oldsmobile belongs not to GM
but to Toyota. And they're thinking of using it on a new
mid-level luxury model to be marketed where? Right here in
the United States.


Once again. TOYOTA DOES NOT OWN THE RIGHTS TO PRODUCE OLDSMOBILE. Nor are they stupid enough to try and resurrect that brand. (h/t to good ol' Phil).

[Source: Video Monitoring Services of America]