BMW stated yesterday that it is investigating into whether Google infringed on any naming rights by naming it’s restructured company Alphabet, the same name of BMW’s vehicle fleet service company.
“We are examining whether there are any implications over trademarks,” a BMW spokesperson said yesterday. BMW could take the matter to court, although the company says there are currently no plans to take legal action against google. Action in the future is also unlikely because of the differences in services offered.
BMW’s Alphabet offers services and goods to vehicle fleets in 18 countries and covers 530,000 vehicles. Google’s new Alphabet is the result of corporate restructuring and will offer different services than BMW’s company. Google’s Alphabet will house all aspects of the current company like Nest, Calico and funding ventures in an effort to fragment the company to keep it effective. The massive online search engine will still keep the familiar name and be housed in it’s own section of the company.
In an article, it was explained that according the the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, legal action could only be taken against Google if it offered the same services and thus, created confusion among customers of where they are actually getting their goods and services from. It is ironic that the auto company owns the website Alphabet.com rather than the tech and online giant that dominates the internet.
“We are not planning to sell the domain,” said Micaela Sandstede, a BMW spokesperson, referencing BMW’s ownership of Alphabet.com. Google could offer to buy the domain like another CEO in 2007 who also owns a company called Alphabet. In fact, Alphabet is one of the most common names for American businesses.
Alphabet Funds, owned by Jason Adler, tried to purchase the Alphabet.com domain from BMW in 2007 but did not succeed. The hedge fund company was surprised when they heard that Google wants to use their name.
“I’m getting blown up from all my investors and my friends,” he said. “They are sending me emails, all of them, and every one of them says the same thing: ‘Google took your name.’”
Other companies just like the hedge fund company are happy about the unexpected publicity. Insurance companies, photography companies and many others are getting added attention because there is so much buzz about their business name. Google’s alphabet can’t take BMW’s website name, or any of the other websites owned by the other variations of Alphabet.com. Alphabet has it’s own website called abc.xyz, which calls attention and Alphabet’s support to the new not.com revolution.
Theres more than just an alphabet of companies with the Alphabet name out there. But seriously, who knew BMW owned one of them?