British manufacturer & marketer of luxury cars Bentley Motors recently lost a trade mark invalidity action (filed in 2015) against UK based Bentley clothing company over the use of the “Bentley” trade mark on clothing lines.
Bentley Motors (launched in 1919), with a famous reputation in the luxury car market, launched a clothing line in 2005. The carmaker who owns a “Bentley” trade mark (EU 3925187) in classes 14 & 18 covering jewellery and leather accessory goods felt that Bentley clothing, launched in 1962 but did not file their “Bentley” trade mark for clothing, footwear and headgear until 2009, were infringing the goodwill that they had built up over time with consumers and that there could be confusion between the service offerings with the same name and now in similar markets.
In its recent decision the IPO said that Bentley Motors had failed to provide evidence of use of its mark for any of the goods relied on (jewellery and clothing). The IPO also stated that the use of the mark by Bentley clothing would not take unfair advantage of Bentley Motors.