A federal court in Florida has put a screeching halt to do-it-yourself “Bentley Car Kits, citing that” they “infringe on Bentley’s trademark and patent designs (including the, Continental GTC Vehicle)” after British car company Bentley Motors Limited sued Matthew McEntegart and Robert Frary III, owner of Keeping It Real Auto Customizing Inc. As a result, the two entrepreneurs have been ordered to stop making, advertising or selling their kits. In addition, Bentley is seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.
However, Fray’s attorney John McGuire claimed that his client “only painted three cars that had car kits already on them, and that he stopped painting them after he received notice of the lawsuit.”
The kits which help car owners turn their Chryslers or Fords into Bentley look-a-likes, were only one of a myriad of similar products now available for sale on the internet designed to create “Cinderella cars” out of “ordinary vehicles using fiberglass molds and fancy logos.
While McEntegart contends that he never sued molds made from actual Bentleys, and states that he had disclaimers stating so, he has decided against trying to fight the court’s decision.
"Unfortunately, it boiled down to not having enough money to fight it," he said. "You could keep a court battle going on for ten years if you wanted to. I was just a one-man shop, so it was easier to tuck my tail between my legs than fight it."
Although he has been forced out of business, McEntegart eventually hopes to come back with a new car kit modeled on the G35 Infiniti in the near future.
"It will be nothing that looks like that, but the new kits will be using it as a donor for the chassis," he said.