The dispute focused on the use of the “e-logo” by Enterprise Holdings’ flagship brand, daily rental company Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and occurred when Europcar, another rental company, introduced an “e” logo in its branding in 2012. This was subsequently used extensively in Europcar’s advertising and marketing campaigns across Europe.
Enterprise claimed that the new Europcar logo was confusingly similar to the Enterprise Rent-A-Car trade mark, a variant of which has been consistently used across Europe since 1994, when Enterprise Holdings set up its first branch operations in the UK, said Enterprise.
The court found in favour of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car trademark, saying it had distinctive character and reputation as a result of extensive use, and confusion had been caused by Europcar’s use of its “e” logo, which infringed Enterprise’s rights.
This decision closely follows an arbitration ruling in December 2014 that enabled Enterprise to terminate Europcar’s licence to operate the National and Alamo brands across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) – see our story Europcar ditches National and Alamo brands in the UK.
These brands have now reverted to Enterprise in most of Europe.
Jim Burrell, European senior vice president of Enterprise Holdings, said:
“We have invested heavily over recent years to grow the Enterprise brand in Europe and provide customers with an exceptional experience. The good reputation that we create in doing business the right way is attached to our brand, so it’s the most valuable asset that we have.”
“Customers have the right to know who they are buying from, and what that company stands for, which is why our brand matters so much.”
“This decision is especially welcomed at a time when we are growing our brand as a global business, and when demand for car rental is also expanding rapidly as people change their mobility habits. It is vital that our customers can be confident of the service and the value that they will receive every time they see the Enterprise brand.”
Enterprise Holdings is the largest car rental business in the world.