• Jan 15, 2010
BMW gave us the Mini Cooper, Mini Convertible and Mini Clubman. We've also seen the Mini Countryman, Mini Coupé and Mini Roadster. Well, how about a Mini roller coaster?
According to The Sun News, Freestyle Music Park of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is operating a roller coaster with six-passenger cars that bear a striking resemblence to BMW's Mini Cooper - make that a near exact copy. Understandably, BMW is less than pleased as the park's owners don't have permission to be rolling unauthorized knock-offs around the rails (likely pulling more G's than the actual production models). Following an unanswered cease-and-desist letter back in November, BMW of North America LLC and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG filed a suit against FPI MB Entertainment Tuesday for trademark infringement and false designation of origin.

The owners of the park, who purchased it out of bankruptcy just last year, claim this is all just a misunderstanding. They understand BMW's position regarding the "Round About" coaster and expect to work something out with the German automaker in the near future. BMW, on the other hand, is not only looking for the cars to be pulled off the track, they're seeking damages, too. They had better get in line – there are reportedly more than a dozen liens filed against the financially-troubled park for unpaid services since July. Thanks for the tip, Mason!

[Source: The Sun News]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 26 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Woohoo one of my tips made it!

      Anyway, this ride was made the previous season when Freestyle Music Park was Hard Rock Park, and BMW never made a stink about that! It was marketed as minis back then, but their was no controversy.

      The next logical lawsuit will come from Mike Judge for the Time Machine coaster of the same name of the ride from Idiocracy...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well the owner of the park should argue that the coaster is a copy of the Lifan 320. http://car.wj8.net/2009/07/lifan-320.html
        • 5 Years Ago
        is that like the chinese version of the buick badge on that car?? lol
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm sure that the uber awesome Backlot Stunt Coaster / Italian Job MINI roller coaster at Paramount King's Island was licensed...or, at least, I hope it was:

      http://www.kicentral.com/photos/displayimage.php?album=47&pos=0
      • 5 Years Ago
      Damages? How could they argue this? If anything it was free advertising.
        invisiblepigeon3
        • 5 Years Ago
        How is pissing on intellectual property a noble thing to do? It undermines advancement, by its very principle. You both are morons for calling that noble.

        That being said, you could never come up with something good enough to necessitate a copyright, so you do it out of envy. Get bent pirate losers. Go download some illegal music or something.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was just thinking about people at home...


        - Honey, you want to go tomorrow to buy your new Mini?
        - Nah, I'll just go to the roller coaster.

        Yeah, now I can see how it could have damaged Mini/BMW.

        They don't have any other problem to solve at the moment?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ditto. What better way to reinforce the Mini's fun loving personality?!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Your comment can be responded to in an easy manner: next time you need a tissue to blow your nose, ask the receptionist to give you a 'Kleenex'. If she gives you anything other than a 'Kleenex', reply with "I asked for a Kleenex". It's not about free advertising. It's about ruining the brand that took many years to build to what it is. As far as I can see - it doesn't bear the name and that would dilute the brand. BMW did the right thing, and I hope they win.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was also thinking the same thing 'RX-8'! And good point 'tuna'!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually, I go out of my way to genericize trademarks just to piss off stuck-up asshats.

        I don't care what brand of dumpster I put my trash in. I don't care what brand of kleenex I blow my nose with. I'll google things on any search engine.
        fatppldropkick
        • 5 Years Ago
        invisiblepigeon3: trademarks are different from copyrights and patents. trademarks do nothing to drive innovation and do nothing other than make sure someone doesn't make another Chevrolet brand other than General Motors. Now if something is so ubiquitous that everyone just uses the brand name, then they can lose their trademark. Lego, Kleenex, Xerox have all suffered from this and are trying to defend against it. Would kleenex be any different if walmart was also allowed to make kleenex? probably not, I would still pick the cheapest one and use those to wipe my nose.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I've been on that coaster a billion times and its so fun. I can't believe BMW went out of its way to sue them over this... Freestyle is already having financial trouble and like someone already said it was basically free advertising.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hope they can work something out.
      • 5 Years Ago
      ok heres the problem with this, bmw gave permission to paramount parks to build mini cooper coasters called italian job stunt track, there are atleast 3 coasters at parks across the country and canada, these coaster were build be a company called premier rides, premier rides also built round about, which uses very similar ride trains, to the original mini cooper used on italian job coasters, bwm should be suing premier not free style music park they just own what was built by former owners.
      • 5 Years Ago
      greedy bastards, where's all the money they save from cost cutting.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Unless they actually use BMW's name and logo, BMW doesn't have a leg to stand on. Car designs aren't protected. Look at the GTA games: all the cars in them are knockoffs of real cars, but since they don't use the actual names, nobody can sue them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You say all the cars are knockoffs and you are right, but when you read the fine print on some car companies ads you'll not only see the name's protected, but language like "grille design." or "dynamic swoosh device" They can have things like headlights, grilles or logos protected and yeah, they can sue you. I don't know of any GTA car that infringes on anything like that.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks like BMW-MINI's lawyers are at it again. Billings must be a bit slow at the firm so it's open season again on anyone even thinking about referring to "MINI"! Keep it up, MINI, and you'll see even more people flee from your brand, especially after looking at those hokey paint jobs!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Aw, I enjoyed those Mini roller coasters in Canada's Wonderland! Speedy little ride!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ummm, wait a minute.
      Why aren't they suing the ride manufacturer Premier Rides? They built this ride & three other rides that use the same vehicles (all called Backlot Stunt Coaster at KIngs Dominion, Kings Island & Canada's Wonderland). Or are those rides licensed?
      The BMW folks must be having a slow winter - MINI Cooper sales are down in the US, so they have to make up for the lost revenue somehow... What a joke...what a complete joke.

    • Load More Comments