New filing could be new model name, but mum's the word in Italy.

Ferrari recently trademarked the term "Ferrari GT California," according to a December 2006 filing with a government agency in the United States.  The filing, originally discovered by WorldCarFans reader "Jordoweasel", covers all use of the term pertaining to vehicles, as well as toys, models, games, and video games.  A copy of the search result can be seen in the photo gallery at right.

Ferrari has yet to respond to two requests from WorldCarFans for an interview.  According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Ferrari S.p.A. in Modena, Italy, applied for the trademark.

The lack of response gives cause for speculation.  First, Ferrari has repeatedly denied rumors of a brand new Ferrari Dino in the works.  Although we have brought you spy photos of a Ferrari test mule using the body of the 599, and one using the body of a Maserati Granturismo, nobody is talking at Ferrari.  What we have been referring to as a potential new Dino might actually be a GT California.

This rumor does have some legs, as other sources are reporting on Ferrari's alleged development of a 2+2 car with a 4.3L V8 under the hood (not in the rear).  This car is speculated for early next year, perhaps at the Detroit show in January.  German publication AutoZeitung had also been claiming a new Ferrari concept would be unveiled in Frankfurt, which never happened.  This could also be a potential GT California.

Italiaspeed has also reported on a Ferrari 2+2 cabriolet, possibly called the 430 GT California, to debut at the Detroit Motor Show.   The car will supposedly have a folding hard-top.  Reportedly using the same F1 gearbox as the F430 Scuderia, with optional manual transmission, this car could be a likely candidate for the trademark filed by the company.  Italiaspeed seems to think this car would be priced around €130,000 ($185,000).  That would put the car in competition with the Aston Martin V8 Vantage.

Two other possible uses for the trademark include either something being developed for production that has not been spied or leaked, or it represents a model name that Ferrari may end up scrapping, or never using to begin with.  One patent attorney in Chicago thinks the latter is unlikely, as any trademark filing with the USPTO must be done with the intention of using the mark.

The filing, which cost Ferrari $350 (significantly less than a set of ceramic brakes on the F430, as Jordoweasel points out), will likely win Ferrari more publicity, and spark yet another guessing game.  Either way, take a look at the filing, get creative, and let us know what you think by posting a comment.

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