Dec 14, 2020

Bentley and Bentley – The Appeal

Bentley Motors (“Motors”) and Bentley Clothing (“Clothing”) have renewed hostilities in the Court of Appeal.

Last year Clothing succeeded in its claim for trade mark infringement against Motors, which had steadily encroached on Clothing’s registered trade mark covering knitted clothing, shirts, and waistcoats.

HHJ Hacon decided that Motors had consciously and intentionally developed its clothing and headwear ranges incrementally, to try to extinguish Clothing’s rights in the trade mark – presumably with a view to eventually invalidating it and registering it for itself.

Last week Motors’ appeal was heard, with the main thrust of the argument being that use of the mark ‘Bentley’ (“the Mark”) on clothing in conjunction with the company’s logo was essentially use of a single sign, not, as HHJ Hacon had decided, two distinct signs used simultaneously.

If Motors can convince the Court that use of the Mark and logo together is use of a single sign, it is likely that it would be able to sell clothing featuring the Mark, but only when accompanied by the logo. That would be a major win for the automotive giant, which currently stands alone as the only luxury car maker unable to sell branded clothing.

We will report on the Court of Appeal’s decision when it is available. If you have any questions about trade mark use or any other IP right, please get in touch with the team on 0191 281 4000, or at

Posted by: Adham Harker in: Trade Marks

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