A Manchester based clothing brand has launched legal action against Bentley Motors over the ownership of a trademark.
Brandlogic, the owners of the Bentley 1962 brand of clothing, registered the trademark related to use of the name Bentley on their clothing back in 1982, and are now seeking an injunction to stop the car manufacturers use of the name Bentley for the sale of clothing in the UK.
They claimed in the High Court the car manufacturer had “badly damaged its business”.
The pair have been locked in a trademark row since 2000 when Bentley Motors was acquired by Volkswagen two years earlier.
Christopher Lees, a director of family-owned Brandlogic, said the Bentley clothing brand has been established since 1962 and its registered trademarks existed long before the carmaker began selling clothing.
During the ’90s the Bentley clothing brand used to generate around £5 million worth of sales per year, but Mr Lees revealed that those levels of sales have been severely hampered by Bentley Motors ‘persistent trademark infringements’ with sales now less than £100,000 per year.
He says he lodged the file last year but had hoped to resolve the issue ‘amicably’
Bentley Motors have previously tried to cancel the company’s trademark in the UK, however, the Intellectual Property Office ruled in Mr Lees’s favour.
Mr Lees said: “We have no desire to harm Bentley Motors, an important British engineering company,” Mr Lees said.
“We didn’t want to have to sue Bentley Motors to protect our long-held trademark rights, but their dismissive attitude has left us with no choice.
“For my business to survive, and to grow again, we have no choice but to take this legal action.”
Bentley has vowed to defend proceedings, saying it had sold clothes for more than 30 years without being confused. In a statement, they said: “We believe we have the right to continue to do so and will defend these proceedings.”