Bentley clothing brand – in a trademark battle
Sports-inspired casual-wear brand Bentley is locked in a legal battle with car company Bentley Motors over the use of its registered trademarks for clothing.
Christopher Lees, director at Manchester-based clothing company Bentley, told WIPR that the car maker has rejected entering into a licensing agreement with it and is now “trying to kill off my 53 year old clothing brand”. Bentley Motors, however, have applied to have the trademarks cancelled following the launch of its apparel collection in 2005.
Owned by father and son, Bob and Christopher Lees, the brand was once sold in hundreds of stockists nationwide, and at its peak had a turnover of £5m. The Lees family bought the brand from founder Gerald Bentley in 1991.
Bentley Motors launched its clothing range in 2005 and has opposed all five of Bentley’s marks at the IPO. According to the IPO’s database the car maker applied for a trademark for the term ‘Bentley’ covering various items of clothing in June 2015.
Earlier this month the Lees family filed a defence to the Intellectual Property Office, reasoning that they own the trademarks and will be therefore be continuing to operate the brand.
To be continued.
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