It seems like not everyone is happy about Google's recent switch to a new company called "Alphabet." BMW announced just today that they are looking into whether or not Google infringed upon their trademark rights. The Silicon Valley based Google set up a new company that they called "Alphabet." The problem? This is already the name of a BMW subsidiary.
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In a new report from Reuters, a BMW spokeswoman said that, the company is "...Examining whether there are any implications over trademarks. However, BMW did say that they weren't planning to take any steps against Google is that were the case.
BMW's brand of Alphabet works with the company's cars to provide services to companies that use their cars in fleets. BMW Alphabet operates in 18 countries and supplied vehicles to many major companies, totally at well over 500,000 vehicles. Most of the customers are in the corporate realm.
Google did not reply for comment when asked by Reuters, but it is unlikely that anything will come from it. This is because Google has made it very clear that they won't actually be using the name "Alphabet" in any of the products or brands.
Google, either knowingly or not, picked a name that is common among American businesses - according to trademark registrations, there are 103 businesses who use the word "Alphabet" or some other version close to it. However, in order for BMW to actually have a case against Google, they would have to show that the name would create a "likelihood of confusion" for consumers. For instance, if Google were to start producing cars, then maybe it could create some confusion.
So for now, it seems like Google is out of the loop and BMW is keeping a watchful eye on them.