Google Alphabet infuriates German carmaker

Old cars Google’s sudden move to create an umbrella company called Alphabet has annoyed a German car maker.

BMW, for it is she, appears to think that it owns the name Alphabet. It claims that the Alphabet was not invented by the Ancient Greeks, based on a Phoenician interpretation of Egyptian hieroglyphs but was originally German.

BMW has a subsidiary called Alphabet.

A spokeswoman said there were currently no plans to take legal steps against Google but it was examining if there were any trademark implications.

BMW’s Alphabet provides services to companies with vehicle fleets, operates in 18 countries and supplies 530,000 vehicles to corporate customers.

Apparently there are fears that people who hire a fleet of Bemas might have been confused and were actually searching for news on their Android phone.

A legal dispute is unlikely since Google made clear in its announcement on Monday that in creating a parent company called Alphabet, it was not intending to build products and brands under that name. Besides there is a fair bit of prior art around the name Alphabet including books written in Greek, Latin and European languages.

Alphabet is fairly common brand among American businesses. There are currently 103 trademark registrations in the United States that include the word “alphabet” or some close variation, according to a database search of the US Patent and Trademark Office.

To prove a trademark infringement, a trademark owner would have to show that the new Alphabet created a “likelihood of confusion” among consumers between the two brands. This could occur if both brands offered similar goods and services.