News broke yesterday that Larry Page and Sergey Brin were forming a new company named “Alphabet” and making it the parent company of Google. Google still exists as a company but will now be part of a larger entity with broader ventures than search and advertising. Supposedly this move bodes better for the company as a whole as well as their stockholders. There are some who are crying foul accusing Page and Brin of simply trying to avoid any EU anti-trust measures by creating a “shell corporation.” Whatever the motivation behind the new company is, good or evil, the first thing you think the founders of Google would have done was to Google “Alphabet.”
Page and Brin would have found out that currently the business name Alphabet is trademarked and owned by BMW and BMW has already said they’re not selling it. BMW also owns the domain name for Alphabet.com and has no plans on selling that either. Furthermore there are a plethora of other business and services that use the same name with Alphabet in the domain name. BMW is launching an investigation to see if there is any sort of trademark infringement here and we’ll probably hear more about that in the coming months.
“We are not planning to sell the domain,” said Micaela Sandstede, a BMW spokeswoman in Munich. She described the website as a “very active” part of Alphabet’s business.
Others had a problem with Google showing up as Alphabet. “We do all of our business online, and Google could really affect us,” said Jennifer Blakeley, who in 2008 registered Alphabet Photography as an online retail store selling printed photos of buildings and natural formations that look like letters.
What happens next will be interesting to watch, certainly Alphabet has enough cash to buy out even BMW but BMW would have to agree to it. As for the smaller businesses, they’ll likely give way once the large offers start coming in.Source: The NY Times