In a complaint filed last Friday, BMW claims that Patrick Stangler has violated the company's trademark when he recently set up the website westcountybmw.com.
BMW contends that Stangler is a "disaffected" customer of Suntrup West County BMW in suburban St. Louis and created the site to "get back" at the dealership. The lawsuit claims that Stangler first used the website to host links to Suntrup's competitors before offering to sell the domain name to the BMW dealership for $10,000.
When Suntrup declined his offer, the lawsuit claims that Stangler changed the theme of the website to "West County Bisexual Men and Women" and began placing pornographic images on the site to "further spite BMW."
Sadly, none of those X-rated photos greet visitors to westcountybmw.com today. Instead, the site contains the message:
This is the future home of West County BiSexual Men and Women! If you're looking for a BMW car, you're not in the right place. Please look for developments on this site in the next week or so. This is not about cybersquatting or a disatisfied customer, this is for the Gay, Lesbian and Bi-sexual community in the West County and surrounding areas.BMW is seeking unspecified damages that could eclipse the six-figure mark. The influential St. Louis law firm of Dowd & Bennett is representing the automaker in the suit. Stangler has yet to file a response or enter an attorney in the suit.