A judge ruled that the “Bentley car kits” infringed Bentley’s trademark.
October 11, 2013 ?? – If you couldn’t afford a $ 200,000 Bentley, you could previously pay Matthew McEntegart, owner of Fugazzi Cars in St. Petersburg, Fla., For a car kit to make your Chrysler or Ford car look like it. In fact, the internet is full of websites showing you how to turn a regular sedan into a luxury vehicle with molds made from materials like fiberglass and sometimes featuring fancy car logos.
But a judge ruled that McEntegart and another Florida business owner had to shut down, noting that “Bentley car kits” infringed Bentley’s trademark and patent designs.
British luxury car maker Bentley Motors Limited sued McEntegart and Robert Frary III, owner of Keeping It Real Auto Customizing Inc., last year in U.S. District Court in Tampa, claiming the two counterfeit and diluted the brand. and Bentley cars, including the Continental GTC vehicle. . Days later, Bentley and its subsidiary in the United States, Bentley Motor, filed a preliminary injunction to prevent McEntegart and Frary from making, advertising or selling their kits.
In photos: Chrysler, Ford, other cars transformed with Bentley “car kits”
John McGuire, an attorney for Robert Frary, said his client only painted cars that already had car kits on them. He said Frary stopped painting them after receiving the notice of prosecution. McGuire said he was only paid to paint three cars with these kits, or around $ 9,000 but making a profit of around $ 1,500 after supplies.
But now that the judge has ruled in Bentley’s favor, the automaker is seeking tens of thousands of dollars in damages, McGuire said.
Volkswagen Group of America, owner of Bentley, said it “does not comment on current legal issues.”
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A hearing to help determine the amount of damages is scheduled for December.
“He’s a small business owner who supports a family and hasn’t done anything with Bentley Motors since learning they weren’t licensed,” McGuire said.
McEntegart, who said he never took molds from real Bentley cars, said he had warnings that they were not Bentley molds. He denies having infringed the Bentley trademark in his advertisements. He said he filed for bankruptcy because of the lawsuit and was declared bankrupt.
“Unfortunately, it came down to not having enough money to fight it,” McEntegart said of the lawsuit. “You could carry on a legal battle for ten years if you wanted to. I was just a store for one man, so it was easier to put your tail between your legs than to fight it.”
But McEntegart said he hopes to stay in the car kit business with his own body designs. It plans to release a new model next month, similar to an Infiniti G35.
“It’s nothing like that, but he uses it as a donor for the chassis,” he said.