Leica considered launching a digital rangefinder camera called the u2018M11u2019 and filed a trademark application for the name earlier this year, it has emerged.

Leica fans spotted the US federal trademark application for a Leica M11 online a few days ago.

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It was filed by Leica Camera AG from Wetzlar, Germany, on 5 May 2012, according to the website trademarkia.com

In response, a Leica UK spokeswoman confirmed that a trademark application was made but questioned the accuracy of the date it was filed.

She added: ‘We have now changed our naming policy, so future M-series cameras will simply be known as ‘M’.’

Last month Leica announced it had dropped the number suffix for all future M and S-series models.

In a statement, it explained that the move is designed ‘to emphasise the long-term significance and enduring value of respective systems’.

To distinguish future models from one another, Leica cameras will be referred to by different product codes, for internal purpose only.

For example, the Leica M-E (pictured) is known as ‘Typ 220′, and the Leica M as ‘Typ 240′.