BMW, the largest luxury automaker in the world, has announced on Tuesday it was looking whether Google’s new parent company called Alphabet was violating any trademark rights.
The Silicon Valley-based Internet search giant decided recently to set up a new company called Alphabet, which is incidentally also the name used by a BMW subsidiary. “We are examining whether there are any implications over trademarks,” commented recently a BMW spokesperson. There are currently no plans to take any legal action against Google, added the spokesperson. BMW’s Alphabet is a subsidiary division that works with companies to provide them services to operate vehicle fleets and has operations in 18 countries – supplying 530,000 vehicles to corporate customers. A legal battle is also highly unlikely after Google’s announcement regarding the new company made specific references that its parent company called Alphabet Inc would not be used to produce and products or brands using the name.
Google has also chosen a name that is rather common as a brand among American business operations. A simple database search of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office would reveal there are today 103 trademark registrations in the United States using the word “alphabet” or a close variation. Also, to prove the trademark violation, the name owner would have to demonstrate the new Alphabet use was responsible for a “likelihood of confusion” among customers of the two brands – and this usually happens if the two have similar goods or services.