Anybody read this in the paper on sunday? My dad rang and asked had I heard the name BMWcare.. I just bought the day access to sunday times to download it
BMW, which declared €834m profits for the second quarter of this year, has launched a High Court action against an Irish mechanic who specialises in repairing its cars.
The German manufacturer is seeking to gain control of Eddie Ronayne’s website, BMWcare.com, and to obtain a court order preventing him from “passing off” his business as being authorised.
Ronayne, who is expected to fight the case, denies BMW’s claims that he infringed its copyright or is passing himself off as an approved mechanic. “This matter is vital to my ongoing business surviving,” said Ronayne, who is based in Cloonfad, near the Roscommon border with Galway.
Ronayne has owned the website BMWcare.com since 2006 and registered BMWcare as a business name with the Company Registration Office that year. The one-page website says that he provides a “second opinion” and is “independent” and “beholden to no-one”.
The site claims to have saved some drivers “hundreds” in repair costs. Ronayne cites several endorsements from contributors on BMW-owner websites. Although Ronayne has not filed any accounts with the CRO under that name, it is understood he claims to make at most €25,000 a year from the business.
BMW has employed DFMG solicitors of Dublin, who specialise in intellectual property and copyright cases. On Friday the company filed a second High Court action against Maddocks Online, an independent dealership specialising in BMW motorcycles.
BMW said its case against Ronayne concerns alleged trademark infringement because of his use of the BMW name and logo. “BMW and its dealers invest a great deal in training and equipment in order to assure highest quality and service standards. BMW also strives to ensure that the use of the brand is consistent,” said a spokeswoman.
Large companies have a mixed record in legal actions where they have tried to stop other businesses using their logos. In 1999, BMW lost a case when the European Court of Justice found the “honest” use of trade marks by third parties was necessary to preserve undistorted competition.