Bentley clothing trademark dispute rumbles on
A company based in Manchester has taken the latest step in a long-running dispute with luxury car marque Bentley Motors over ownership of a clothing trademark.
Brandlogic registered the Bentley 1962 trademark in 1982 (although, as its name suggests, it originally debuted 20 years before that) and has launched a legal claim in the High Court as it seeks an injunction to stop the car company using its brand name for clothing products in Britain.
The dispute began back in 2000 following the car firm’s acquisition by Volkswagen. It coincided with the period when brand owners of all types realised how valuable their brands could be in categories outside of their core area of operations.
Christopher Lees, a director at the family-run firm told the 'i' newspaper that its brand has a 56-year history and pre-dates the car marque’s move into clothing.
Sales of the label are currently under £0.1 million, although in the 1990s, they peaked at £5 million annually with Lees saying that Bentley Motors’ “persistent infringement” of the trademark has “badly hampered” their chances of rising back to that earlier level.
Lees told the newspaper that attempts to solve the trademark issue amicably had been rebuffed by the car firm and that the Intellectual Property Office ruled in his company’s favour when Bentley Motors tried to cancel its trademark in the UK. “For my business to survive and to grow again, we have to take this legal action,” he added.
Bentley Motors in its turn said: “[We have] been selling clothing for more than 30 years without being confused for any other brand. We believe we have the right to continue to do so and will defend these proceedings when they are heard in July 2019.”
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