Often product manufacturers will trademark and patent their products and designs in order to protect them from unfair competition. This prevents other companies from stealing those ideas, offering them as their own and profiting from them. If another company does produce a product that is too similar to that of a competitor, it could result in business litigation.
A judge in Florida recently ruled that two local business owners were guilty trademark infringement by making and selling car kits that essentially stole Bentley Motors Limited car designs. The kits are meant to enhance less costly vehicles so they look more like some of the expensive, luxury cars on the market. Bentley reportedly filed a lawsuit against the men who own Fugazzi Cars and Keeping It Real Auto Customizing Inc. in order to prevent them from continuing to manufacture or sell the look-a-like designs. A judge reportedly ruled in favor of Bentley and ordered that the men stop their operations immediately.
According to reports, a separate hearing will now be held in order to determine whether the men will be required to pay damages to Bentley, as well as to decide the amount of any damages that are ordered. The luxury carmaker is reportedly seeking significant financial compensation that could reach into the tens of thousands.
Many companies and businesses retain legal representation to assist with situations just like this. Regardless of the cause, an experienced attorney can explain the options for resolving business disputes. In addition, a lawyer can offer advice on how best to proceed and answer any other questions that may arise.
Source: ABC News, “Judge Says ‘Bentley Car Kits’ Infringe on Luxury Company’s Trademark”, Susanna Kim, Oct. 11, 2013