BMW Beat Google To The “Alphabet” Name And Website

Before Google created its new parent company, BMW used and trademarked the Alphabet name and domain.

Before Google created its new parent company, BMW used and trademarked the Alphabet name and domain.

Yesterday, Google announced a massive reorganization that will put the Internet giant and all its other side businesses under the umbrella of a new company called Alphabet. But don’t expect to visit Alphabet.com anytime soon, unless you want to buy a bunch of BMWs.

The New York Times reports that BMW, which currently uses Alphabet for a subsidiary that provides services to corporations with vehicle fleets, wasn’t informed by Google of its new company’s name.

A spokesperson for the German automaker says it hasn’t received any offers to buy the Internet domain or the trademark. And even if it did, it’s not selling, claiming the website is a “very active” part of the subsidiary.

Still, BMW says its subsidiary’s alphabet.com website has been overloaded with visitors since Monday’s announcement. Google’s new parent company already has a website at abc.xyz.

The automaker tells the Times it will look into whether or not Google’s use of the name Alphabet has led to any instances of infringement.

Of course, as the Times points out, there are no rules that prohibit one company from using the name already employed by another company.

However, two well-known corporations utilizing the same name may lead to consumer confusion, which could constitute infringement, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Although BMW and Google don’t seem to have much in common at first glance, the tech giant has made a push in the auto industry recently with increased testing of self-driving cars.

Google Creates Alphabet, but Runs Into BMW [The New York Times]