Last Friday, the High Court in London ruled that the luxury vehicle manufacturer Bentley Motors has infringed the trademark rights of Brandlogic and its company, Bentley Clothing. As a result, the well-known car company can no longer use the Bentley name on its clothing range in the UK, either on its own or in conjunction with its renowned "wings" logo. Moreover, Bentley Motors will also have to limit its future range to jackets, silk ties, caps and scarves, as the sales of other types of clothing or headgear is prohibited.
The Manchester based company Bentley Clothing brought an injunction against Bentley Motors in 2017, following Bentley Motors' unsuccessful attempt to cancel Brandlogic's UK trademarks relating to Bentley Clothing in 2015. Concluding the case, Judge Richard Hacon stated that there was initially an "honest concurrent use" of the trademark but Bentley Motors' later actions were a "steady encroachment on Bentley Clothing's goodwill".
This case demonstrates the legal strength of trademarks and the importance for right holders to protect their IP rights, irrespective of the size of their business.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.