Bi News Silly Season
BMW. Three letters that evoke the high-end motor brand, Bayerische Motoren Werke (or in popular slang, “break my windows”). Or are they?
The riverfronttimes gleefully told the world about a battle over whether BMW might equally might stand for Bisexual Men and Women. To prove it doesn’t, they report, the German car company is suing a St. Louis man in a US federal court.
BMW claims that Patrick Stangler violated the company’s trademark in setting up a website www.westcountybmw.com – and that he is a “disaffected” customer of the Suntrup West County BMW dealership in suburban St. Louis. Their lawsuit claims he used the website to host links to Suntrup’s competitors before offering to sell the domain name for $10,000 – a slight markup on the $10 or so he will have paid to get the domain registered.
When the firm declined his offer, it’s claimed Stangler changed the theme of the website to “West County Bisexual Men and Women” and added pornographic images on the site to “further spite BMW.”
BMW are trying to wangle damages of $100,000 upwards for loss of reputation. Given the fine tradition of motor firms draping young women across their cars at launches, this might seem a little brazen. We do hope the trial gets good media coverage…