GM filed for the name with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Dec. 12 of this year, claiming pertinence to "motor land vehicles, namely, automobiles." The automaker previously attempted to secure the Zora trademark in mid-June to early July of 2014, issuing claims with at least 23 intellectual property offices, the USPTO included. December's Zora filing is the first and only of its kind for the Zora name in 2018, and only the third since July of 2014.
The Zora name is believed to be derived from that of Zora Arkus-Duntov, the Chevrolet engineer credited with the idea of dropping a V-8 into the C1 back in 1955. Arkus-Duntov was an outspoken advocate for the mid-engined Corvette, with which GM experimented several times, but never produced in series within Arkus-Duntov's life—he passed in 1996. Many Corvette fans consider the Zora name a fitting way to pay tribute to the engineer that called for the model's evolution decades before GM was ready to make the leap.
All association between the Zora name and the mid-engined C8 remains speculative at present, but the expected reveal of the C8 in mid to late 2019 combined with the fresh Zora trademark may rekindle rumors of a relationship between the two. The Zora name went unmentioned in an alleged large-scale leak of information on the C8 earlier this month, though some of the other names specified in the claimed leak have a comparable paper trail with intellectual property offices, making the link of any name to the C8 tenuous until confirmed by GM.
A reported six-month delay of the C8's unveiling until mid or late 2019 was said to be due to electrical system problems, potentially related to electric power doors detailed in GM patent filings, or a power-folding roof depicted on key fobs believed to belong to the C8. Regardless, it looks like GM will, at last, come clean about the next Corvette within a year from today.