BMW has been tussling in courtrooms with a South African auto parts supplier called Grandmark for 13 years. The real issue revolves, of course, around money, but the legal issue revolves around intellectual property rights regarding the design of car parts. South Africa allows entities to register an "Aesthetic Design" (AD) that "is new and original, and that has features which 'appeal to and are judged solely by the eye';" BMW has received Aesthetic Design registrations for both its vehicles an
Today's autos are chock-full of safety equipment that vastly improves your chances of survival in the event of a crash. And if an automaker wants to achieve the best crash test scores, it has to ensure that parts like bumper beams, air bag sensors and radiator supports perform properly during a collision. But while automakers are concerned about their safety record, in some cases, aftermarket parts makers are more concerned with keeping costs down.