3 November 2015Trademarks

Bentley Motors aims to cancel clothing company’s trademarks

A UK clothing company has been angered by car maker Bentley Motors’s attempt to cancel its registered trademarks.

Christopher Lees, director at Manchester-based clothing company Bentley, told WIPR that the car maker has rejected entering into a licensing agreement with it and is now “trying to kill off my 53 year old clothing brand”.

“Only my brand has registered ‘Bentley’ trademarks for clothing in the UK. Bentley Motors do not. Despite knowing that, and that my brand was active, Bentley Motors began to market clothing in a way that clearly infringed my trademarks,” Lees said.

The Bentley clothing brand was established in 1962. It has five trademarks for the term ‘Bentley’ registered at the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

Bentley Motors launched its clothing range in 2005 and has opposed all five of Bentley’s marks at the IPO. According to the IPO’s database the car maker applied for a trademark for the term ‘Bentley’ covering various items of clothing in June 2015.

Lees, who said litigation is not a possibility due to the cost, added that Bentley Motors selling clothing with ‘Bentley’ on it will result in reverse confusion, whereby Bentley Motors is identified by consumers as the original source of a product bearing the ‘Bentley’ trademark.

“Their trademark infringement and apparent claims have done immense damage to my brand. Companies are frightened of dealing with mine, for fear of legal action by Bentley Motors,” he added.

Bentley Motors declined to comment .

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