Bajaj Auto acquires intellectual property rights for American motorcycle brand Excelsior-Henderson

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Bajaj Auto has registered a second trademark for the Excelsior-Henderson name. They filed the trademark with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in the category of clothing that could be used for riding clothing and equipment. This is not the first time that the Indian two-wheeler giant has filed a mark for the American brand. By 2018, they had filed under the Motorcycle Design Class which includes vehicles, parts and service.

The roots of the Excelsior-Henderson company go back to 1876, when it was known as the Excelsior Supply Company, which manufactured cycles and associated parts. Henderson began operations in 1911 and primarily manufactured inline four-cylinder engines. The two companies were acquired by the Schwinn bicycle company in 1917 and were later merged into Excelsior-Henderson. The new Chicago-based company began manufacturing motorcycles, and in 1912 the Excelsior became the first motorcycle in the world to be officially timed at 160 km / h (100 mph). However, due to the economic turmoil induced by the Great Depression, Schwinn decided to shut it down in 1931. The business was revived after several decades in 1993 by Hanlon Manufacturing Company in Minnesota.

The Henderson-Excelsior brand produced a 1,386cc air-cooled four-stroke twin-cylinder motorcycle called the Super X. Unfortunately, only 1,950 units of the Super X were sold and the company quickly ceased production. Although it remained in existence until 2018, the company was eventually put into action, but has failed to secure any buyers so far.

Even though the American brand ceased to exist as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), the company still has intellectual properties. In 2018, Bajaj filed a trademark for the name Excelsior-Henderson in the motorcycle design class and more recently, on December 15 of this year, they filed a second trademark with EUIPO, in the clothing class. However, so far there has been no official statement about Bajaj reviving the Excelsior-Henderson name.

Bajaj is not the only manufacturer to adopt a brand of classic motorcycles as a gateway to international markets. Two other Indian two-wheeler manufacturers have also applied similar strategies, such as Excelsior-Henderson. TVS Motor Company recently acquired British motorcycle maker Norton, while Hero Motor Corp stepped in to save Harley-Davidson from the clutches of extinction in India.

These trademark filings could eventually lead to the rebirth of the Excelsior-Henderson name and could eventually see the production of larger capacity cruisers.

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