Two months ago, we reported on a lawsuit filed in New Jersey by BMW against digital media company, TurboSquid, Inc. According to the complaint, TurboSquid was “marketing 3-D virtual models of vehicles that infringe the BMW trademarks, trade dress, and design patents.” The case presented interesting legal questions with respect to IP and virtual reality. For example, can selling a digital 3D model of a car, which exists only in virtual reality, infringe a design patent?
On August 10, BMW filed a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal of the case — without prejudice — leaving open the possibility of BMW “rebooting” its lawsuit against TurboSquid in the future. Thus, at least for now, it appears that the interesting legal questions are left to be resolved in a different or future dispute. Interestingly, we note that TurboSquid no longer sells 3-D models of BMW or Mini Cooper vehicles on their website — although they do have models of other vehicle manufacturers, such as Tesla, Audi and Toyota.