June 2017. The UK trademark authorities have ruled that luxury car-maker Bentley can’t stop the eponymous Bentley Clothing firm from selling its Bentley brand in the UK. The judgment, which was issued in response to an invalidation procedure filed by the car firm, upheld the clothing company’s 2009 registration of the trademark.
Watches and leather goods
Bentley Motors’ opposition rested on its older EU registration of the Bentley name in 2008, in which it also claimed trademark protection for watches and leather goods – both products it argued were closely aligned to clothing.
However, the UK trademark authorities concluded that Bentley Motors had failed to demonstrate that it had used the Bentley trademark for watches and leather accessories during the past five years, as a result of which these rights had lapsed. Bentley was therefore told it couldn’t claim rights in respect of these products.
The trademark authorities therefore decided that Bentley Clothing had not taken unfair advantage from the widespread familiarity of the trademark.