The parent company of Google is Alphabet Inc. but something gets strange here. Alphabet.com is actually owned by the car manufacturer BMW. It is a BMW Group-owned mobility solution company and focuses on fleet management and financing.
So what did Alphabet (Google) do? They actually used a simpler way. They bought the domain name abc.xyz and alphabet.xyz (although not in use) for much cheaper price. The domain name alphabet.xyz was bought for a mere price price of $3,800 while abc.xyz was sold for an undisclosed amount.
There is a possibility that these two companies might go for a legal battle for the registered name ‘Alphabet’ because BMW owns the website and company registered with that name; it also owns the trademark of ‘Alphabet’ (not in the US though).
Can the name ‘Alphabet’ co-exist for both BMW and Google?
The easy answer is yes. Both the companies can use the name for different companies given both are into different industries and consumers are not confused because of the name. Having a trademark does not necessarily provide its holder (BMW in this case) with complete commercial exclusivity to a particular word or name.
How can BMW enter in a possible war with Google over ‘Alphabet’?
- BMW would need to claim that Google’s new holding company was infringing upon its own trademark and file a case against Google in the courts.
But BMW does not appear to be using Alphabet as a trademark in the U.S. as such. In fact in the US, there are more than 100 registrations for ‘Alphabet’ in the United States Patent and Trademark Office .
- BMW has to convince the Trademark Office or a district court that Google’s use or registration infringement was likely to cause consumers to mistake the two trademarks for each other, creating confusion in the marketplace.
BMW’s ‘Alphabet’ is a vehicle fleet management service and Google’s ‘Alphabet’ is a holding company and sells anything related to cars under Waymo.
Some years ago Google has also bought abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz.com
Google owns 18,000+ other domain names, according to the internet register Whois. These include misspellings like Googl.com and Gogle.com. Google even owns both GoogleSucks.com and GoogleBlows.com. However, FuckGoogle.com belongs to somebody else.
It will be interesting too see how 2 giants would compete for a name in the courts, there is possibility they might because Alphabet does work in the automobile sector under the subsidiary Waymo!