Manchester clothing firm lodges trademark claim against Bentley Motors
Andrei Mincov's commentary on the original article
Here's the problem with trademark law when you look at it in isolation from the business realities. On the one hand, it's easy to say that Bentley, the car manufacturer, should have had the vision to predict that it might launch a clothing business. But you are not supposed to just sit on a trademark without using it. An unused trademark can be canceled by anyone who wants to use the same name. So what do you do with a brand that suddenly becomes so big that you want to grow it beyond the core business? In the perfect world scenario, you would be able to just file new trademark applications that cover new products and services. But what if someone is already in that space? What do you do then? On the one hand, it's unfair to the small business that has owned this brand for a long time. On the other hand, it's unfair to the giant because they cannot extend their brand to serve a lot of people. And the solution is simple. It's called capitalism. It really boils down to the money and who wants this brand more. When the small business owner says he wants to resolve this case amicably, it means they want to hear a nice walk-away number. If the car manufacturer really wants to be in the clothing business, they will need to buy a license or buy the whole brand outright. So at the end of the day, there is no problem with the trademark law because it provides you with a tool to turn your brand into a business opportunity.