The filing for use on “automobiles and structural parts thereof" with the US Patent and Trademark Office was discovered by AutoGuide.
It's likely the TJ Cruiser badge is being considered for a possible production version of the FT-4X concept, which made its debut at the 2017 New York motor show.
As Ian Cartabiano, the Toyota FT-4X chief designer, told CarAdvice, the concept car is 75 per cent production ready, with the company waiting to see what public reaction is like.
Mechanically, the FT-4X is based on the version of the Toyota New Generation Architecture used by the C-HR. Although it has a practical interior and rugged looks, the FT-4X is designed to appeal to a "casual core" crowd interested in a weekend of camping, rather those who want to tackle the Rubicon trail.
If Toyota does decide to use the TJ Cruiser name, it would draw on the equity of the FJ Cruiser name without sullying that car's reputation with a less capable off-roader.
As usual, this trademark application could turn out to be nothing. Toyota may decide not to proceed with a production version of the FT-4X or choose a different name entirely.
It's also possible the filing could be a deliberate red herring.