Last year, Bentley Motors lost a High Court trade mark infringement battle with the small family-run British clothing company Bentley Clothing (run by Chris and Bob Lees). Bentley Motors appealed, and the appeal will be heard on 8 December 2020 in the Court of Appeal. Simon Bennett and Scott Steinberg (both of Fox Williams LLP) will represent Bentley Clothing in the Court of Appeal action (Fox Williams also represented Bentley Clothing in the High Court action).
The dispute concerned the use by Bentley Motors of (the Combination Sign) on clothing and headgear and whether this infringed Bentley Clothing’s trade marks for BENTLEY registered in class 25 for clothing and headgear. The High Court action follows on from a long running dispute which saw Bentley Motors try and fail to cancel trade marks owned by Bentley Clothing.
The judge found that there was infringement by Bentley Motors on the following grounds:
As a result, Bentley Motors was ordered not to use the sign BENTLEY alone or the Combination Sign on clothing and headgear in the UK (except for the limited exception for the goods mentioned above), to pay damages and costs to Bentley Clothing and to destroy clothing which infringe.
Bentley Motors obtained permission to appeal against:
Chris Lees who is a director of Bentley Clothing, commented as follows:
“We’ve tried to grow the clothing brand we bought in 1990 and it’s proven impossible. Bentley Motors forced us into a costly legal battle that has been ruinous in many ways. We’ll be very glad when we can finally put a stop to Bentley Motors’ infringements and begin to grow our business to what it once was”.
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