BMW claims BMW Mechanic infringes on their Trademark

bmw

A BMW mechanic named Eward Ronayne can't use ‘BMW' to offer his garage services to the public. Ronayne who operate his garage in Cloonfad, Roscommon (that is in Ireland) was sued by the German automaker claiming that he was using the trademark in a “parasitic” sense all because he was promoting his car repair services online.

Mr. Justice Sean Ryan referred to Eward Ronayne as “not a man looking for a name for his business but making a business out of a name.” This all because he used the term “BMWCare” on his website. The reason BMW doesn't like is that they feel it is confusing since they call their services at dealerships in Ireland BMWCare from what I can tell. The Justice that he “merely added a common descriptive word which amounted to taking on the plaintiff's identity. ”

Mr. Ronayne is most likely going to have to transfer the domain names that he owns pertaining to his business over to BMW. He will also have to destroy products he has that show the BMW trademark on his business. The judge will make a decision on this in the new year and the Irish mechanic could face monetary infringement charges as well.

In court BMW cited that they spend €4 million Euros, about $5.6 million US dollars, a year on advertising in the Emerald Isle (Ireland) and they didn't have an objection to a mechanic saying they work on BMW cars, but it must be in a way that is legally ok with them.

Eward Ronayne case against BMW as that the the use of BMW in his domain name did not infringe according to the 1996 Trade Marks Act. He also believed he was in compliance with a 1997 European Court of Justice (ECJ) decision on trademarks that involved another German automaker, Porsche. Studying the ECJ act he was under the impression it was perfectly within the law to use BMW and say he was an “independent specialist” for the brand. According to the Irish courts though using BMW's name are not authorized under the ECJ decision.

Ronayne has been operating his garage since around 2005 and carrying out various BMW repairs. Do you think it is right for BMW to claim trademark infringement for “BMWCare” on an independent mechanic? Do believe BMW is twisting the trademark laws in Ireland? We would love to hear opinions and comments about this.

*Thanks to Geraldine Herbert from Wheels for Women for the story tip.

[Source – Independent]

Important Tips when Buying a Used Car

Alfa Romeo Spider
Alfa Romeo Spider

Important Tips when Buying a Used Car

With 2013 bringing so many great new cars to the market and with new car sales trending upwards for 2013, many people are getting into new cars while selling off their old cars. This has made a great opportunity for used car shoppers since these used cars typically are only owned for a short period of time (1-5 years).

However buying a used car it can be challenging for first-time drivers or people who have a limited budget to spend. A few good tips can help in making a wise decision and choice when shopping for that perfect used car.

Budget

Figuring out how much you can spend on a used car is the first step you need to make before take the plunge into shopping. Have you checked you credit scorce? Do you know a reasonably amount you can borrow? This will ensure that you do not get swayed by a salesman who will try to lure yo to buy a used car, or even new car, you might not be able to afford.  Please read my article “The DOs and DON'Ts of Car Financing” to get a better idea of what you need to do and think about.

The Right Fit

Just like a baseball glove or sweater the you car buy should be a suitable fit for, your lifestyle, and preferably style. Though you need to be flexible about the color of the car and features when buying a used car, looking through all the car options that fits within your budget including contemplating on the pros and cons, will help you make the best choice when selecting a used car.

Test Drive

Obviously before you buy a used car make sure to test drive the car you will be purchasing. This will give you an exact idea about the way your potential “new car” works and how you like driving it. While test driving, particularly look for how it feels on the road and how the mechanical systems works such as the brakes, transmission, suspension, etc. Does the engine make any abnormal sounds and vibrations? Are there any general rattles when the car is moving?

Check it Out

Getting a used car inspected and checked by an independent trusted mechanic is a must. Consider what you found on the test drive an d let them know. With the help of a mechanic, ask them to help you inspect the chassis of the car, if the headlights and indicators are working, the battery condition, any repainting or bodywork signs, air conditioning, HVAC, electrical systems, etc. If the car needs repairs it might be fine, but it will allow you to negotiate a much better deal.

If you are not a member of a credit union I would highly recommend joining one in your area. Credit Unions are non-profit and owned by the members who are part of it and not shareholders. This allows them offer much lower rates on loans compared to traditional banks. Many credit unions charge have the same interest rate on new cars as used cars, which is unheard of at traditional banks.

After you have found the best used car for you needs and feel comfortable moving ahead, make sure to negotiate the best possibly deal. Try to make it reasonably for both you you and the seller of the car. Confirm that the paperwork is in place and properly filled out and being transferred to you the new owner and that the current owner actually owns the car. You should be good to go.

Buying a used car for a first-timer or a veteran can still be a challenging and frustrating experience. Used cars can vary widely in condition but if you follow these tips you should be good.

If you have any questions about buying a used car please contact me and I would be happy to help you out.  If you have find this article and information useful please follow Adam’s Auto Advice on Facebook and Twitter.

3 Ways to Find a Good Mechanic

Going into the New Year, I'm sure many of you have New Year's Resolutions. Maybe goals like, losing weight, volunteering more, getting your house cleaned up, making more money, etc. How about the New Year's Resolution… Keep your car in good running condition. The best way to do that is to have a good mechanic to service your car.

There are several ways to find a good mechanic to service your vehicle. Here are 3 ways to find a Good Mechanic:

  1. Ask a Mechanic: Seems obvious. If you know a DIY or Shadetree mechanic ask them if they know of any good shops in the area. Even if they like working on their own vehicles, they'll have to go to a shop for some work. (Such as installing tires, alignments) More importantly than knowing what is a good shop, they'll probably know what the bad shops in the area are. Also if you have a specific brand of car, they might know a good shop to take your specific brand of car. Many shops specialize in certain brands of cars.
  2. Friends, Family, Neighbors: Asking people you know is always a good idea. Maybe they have a friend who is a mechanic. Maybe a neighbor has a great mechanic they've been going to for years. Word-of-Mouth is still a good way to find a mechanic. Ask around and see if you can find good shop or mechanic from someone who's opinion your trust.
  3. Internet: I would suggest checking online lastly. he internet is a great tool. However, I would be careful. I've seen several shops with great online reviews, but I know the service they provide is less than adequate. If you don't have anyone to ask or have come up with no good shops from people you know, you'll probably turn to looking at online reviews. The best website with auto shop reviews is the CarTalk Mechanic's Files. It's been around the longest and has the most extensive database of reviewed shops