On Tuesday this week German car maker BMW said it was considering whether Google infringed any trademark rights after the search giant set up a new company called Alphabet, which just happens to be the name of a BWM subsidiary.
“We are examining whether there are any implications over trademarks”, a BMW spokesperson said. They also said there were currently no plans to take legal steps against Google.
BWM Alphabet considers trademark
BWM’s Alphabet group provides services to companies that have fleets of vehicles. It operates in 18 countries and supplied more than 500,000 vehicles to corporate customers.
It’s unlikely that a legal dispute will ensure however, as Google made it clear that in creating Alphabet Inc, it does not intend to build products under that name.
Google has also picked a name that is quite common among US businesses. There are more than 100 trademark registrations in the US alone including the word alphabet or a variation, according to the US Patent and Trademark Office.
But to prove any trademark infringement, the trademark owner would need to show that the new Alphabet would cause a likelihood of confusion between consumers between the brands. That would occur if both of the brands in question offered similar goods and services.
Larry Banks is a keen follower of technology and finance. He has worked for a variety of online publications, writing about a diverse range of topics including mobile networks, patents, and Internet video delivery technologies.