Image of Bentley Krystal Bed & Jewel bed from Metal Beds LtdACID member Bentley Designs showed their true metal in an IP dispute by instructing their lawyers McDaniel & Co to send a cease and desist letter to Metal Beds Limited following discovery of a look alike bed called “Jewel”. This appeared to be a direct look alike of Bentley’s registered design “Krystal”.  Following receipt of the letter before action, Metal Beds agreed to enter into an undertaking not to sell the Jewel as well as providing the name of the supplier of the Jewel, based in the Far East. Metal Beds also agreed to provide a sworn affidavit that they had no stock and had made no sales of the Jewel as well as pay Bentley’s legal costs associated with the matter.

ACID Accredited lawyer Andrew Lee of McDaniel & Co commented, “This demonstrates the effectiveness of official design registrations and sending a timely cease and desist letter. By registering their designs, Bentley increases the scope and duration of their protection as opposed to any unregistered rights. In addition, by instructing a cease and desist letter to be sent as soon as they were aware of the potential infringement, Bentley have ensured no Jewel beds are sold in the UK and can pursue the Far East supplier.”

Bentley regularly obtains formal design registrations, through either the UK intellectual property office or OHIM, for the furniture that they sell. This allows them to monopolise that particular design against copyists and non-copyists and extend that protection for up to 25 years. This is a cost effective method of ensuring their products are protected and infringements can be pursued more effectively such as their “Krystal bed” for which they have a UK Registered Design.

Ray Davies, Bentley’s Design Director said, “Following an ACID Intellectual Property Audit we now have a robust IP strategy. After all, Bentley spends an enormous amount on design, research and development of new products and we will continue to take action with any third parties who infringe our rights.” Dids Macdonald, ACID’s CEO said, “The positive benefits of having a registered Community design are possession of a numbered certificate which, in effect, says you own the monopoly on that design. It is much easier for companies to take legal action if they have compelling evidence of design ownership.”

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