Bentley Can Press Case Against Florida Knockoffs

     (CN) – A Florida body shop that sells and installs Bentley body kits to transform Chrysler and Ford cars into knockoff Bentleys may be liable for trademark infringement, a federal judge ruled.
     Bentley Motors Ltd. Corp. and Bentley Motor Inc. sued Fugazzi Cars Inc., Keeping it Real Auto Customizing Inc., Matthew McEntegart, and Robert Fraray III for trademark infringement, false advertising, trademark dilution, false designation of origin, trade dress infringement and design patent infringement.
     In a complaint filed in the federal court in Tampa, Fla., Bentley charged “Defendants unlawfully manufacture Bentley body kits that transform ordinary and inexpensive Chrysler and Ford vehicles into knockoff Bentley vehicles,” and “have intentionally misappropriated the overall appearance and shape of the Bentley GTC automobile, as well as [various Bentley] trademarks … by incorporating them into ‘Bentley Car Kits’ that Defendants continue to manufacture, advertise, and sell despite Bentley’s cease and desist demands.”
     Defendants Fraray and Keeping It Real filed motions to dismiss, claiming both that their activities never rose to the level Bentley claimed, and that they never received a cease and desist letter.
     United States District Judge Virginia Covington found these defenses to be insufficient.
     “Accepting the allegations in the Complaint as true and construing the facts in the light most favorable to Bentley, and additionally noting that Defendants do not challenge the sufficiency of any one of the four specific claims for relief enumerated in the Complaint, the Court denies Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss,” Covington wrote.

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