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"The Judge" is a GM trademark.
"Here comes the Judge" could be copyrighted by the network that produced Laugh In. (NBC I think) which probably let GM use it for fear of losing ad revenues. Which means that it's also likely a trademark of GM"
GM, or anyone else, does not have to register the name in order to use it as their trademark. All they have to do is be able to prove they used the name to sell their product first. Which is really easy for GM. All registering a trademark does is easily establishes that proof.
What SLP should have done is trademarked "thejudge" or something similar, but different, then trademarked a logo that looks similar like the original, different enough to prevent any legal problems (say a different font, or without the multicolored outlines).

Or they could throw out the "The Judge" idea, and make up something just as tacky, but modern, like "The Shizzle" then copy all of GM's old ads, saying "Here comes the Shizzle". Maybe then they would realize that The Judge (and The Shizzle) is a stupid name for the car and ask GM is they could use the SD or Super Duty name instead, (you'd think GM would have sued Ford over that one.) since a GTO SD421 or SD350 sounds better than "The Judge" ever will. Plus it's got all that alpha-neumeric crap that GM seems to be fond of nowadays.
 
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