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Enterprise wins trademark battle with Europcar

Following a judgment on 13th January 2015, the High Court in London has ruled in favour of Enterprise Holdings in a trademark dispute with Europcar.

The dispute focused on the use of the “e-logo” by Enterprise Holdings’ flagship brand, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and occurred when Europcar 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.
The court found that the Enterprise Rent-A-Car trademark had distinctive character and reputation as a result of extensive use, and confusion had been caused by Europcar’s use of its “e” logo. Therefore, the court concluded that Europcar’s use of their logo infringed on 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). These brands have now reverted to Enterprise in most of Europe, which is currently evaluating its position with regards to operating the three brands in Europe.

Enterprise Holdings is the largest car rental business in the world. Through its Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand, the company has more than 1,000 European locations including a presence at all major European airports. The company continues to grow across the world and has already implemented a carefully phased programme of expansion across Europe and the Middle East. In the last two years Enterprise Rent-A-Car has grown from operating in five European countries to now being available in 31.

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.”