A long-running High Court trade mark dispute (Bentley 1962 Limited, Brandlogic Limited v Bentley Motors Limited  EWHC 2925 (Ch)) could result in luxury car manufacturer Bentley Motors having to rethink its approach to branded clothing.
There were two claimants in this action. The first was Brandlogic, a family-run firm based in Manchester, which sells clothing under the brand ‘BENTLEY’. The second was Bentley 1962 Ltd, which has the same directors as Brandlogic and is the owner of intellectual property exclusively licensed to Brandlogic. The defendant was Bentley Motors.
The claimants’ clothing business started in 1962. In or around 1987, Bentley Motors started to sell a small range of clothing featuring the B-in-wings logo, but not the word ‘BENTLEY’. In 2000, Bentley Motors started to use the word ‘BENTLEY’ on its clothes.
The claimants commenced infringement proceedings following Bentley Motors’ refusal to cancel all of its clothing trade marks.
The High Court found that Bentley Motors had infringed the ‘BENTLEY’ word and figurative marks registered by the claimants when it used the ‘BENTLEY’ name and wings logo for clothing and headgear.
More specifically, the judge held that:
This article has been co-written with Olivier Jacquelin, a trainee solicitor in the intellectual property team.