The Alfa Romeo 4C is cleared for launch.

Alfa Romeo is one step closer to relaunching in the U.S. market after trademarking the 4C nameplate. The 4C sports car will spearhead Alfa Romeo's return to the United States during the second half of 2013.

According to a release by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Alfa Romeo was granted a trademark for the 4C vehicle nameplate, as well as for accessories such as clothing and toys. The trademark was officially granted on April 10.

The 4C, which could debut in production form at January's Detroit auto show, will begin production in May 2013 at a Maserati factory in Modena, Italy. Alfa Romeo plans to build 2,500 units of the 4C per year.

According to Bloomberg, Alfa Romeo will follow up the 4C with a Dodge Dart-based Giulia sedan in 2014.