Google reveals Alphabet, but BMW already owns that trademark

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Jessica Conditt
August 11, 2015 2:09 PM
Google reveals Alphabet, but BMW already owns that trademark

Google co-founder Larry Page unveiled a surprise restructuring yesterday with the announcement of Alphabet, a new company that owns Google and all of its semi-related products. Google's stock soared 5 percent directly after the announcement, the world was busy dissecting the meaning of alpha and bet, and things looked rosy for the new company. However, there could be one problem: BMW owns the trademark and .com domain for "Alphabet." And it doesn't want to sell, a spokesperson tells the New York Times.

BMW's Alphabet provides service packages to corporations with vehicle fleets. In terms of trademark infringement, it's no problem for two companies to have the same name, as long as there's no possibility of confusion for customers. In this case, there is at least one clear connection between the two organizations: BMW is a car manufacturer and Alphabet owns Google, which has a line of self-driving cars. BMW is looking into the possibility of trademark infringement, NYT reports.

As for the Alphabet domain, Google's new company has secured, so BMW can continue using without worry -- except for the apparent traffic overload that hit the site after Page's announcement. Google's Alphabet has a different domain issue to tackle: China has blocked its new site, despite expansive local coverage of the restructuring, Fast Company reports.

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[Image credit: Associated Press]

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