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      08-12-2015, 12:41 AM   #1
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Google's new Alphabet company name may infringe BMW trademark

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Google's new Alphabet company name may infringe BMW trademark
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FRANKFURT (Reuters) -- BMW today said it was looking into whether Google infringed any trademark rights after the Silicon Valley-based group set up a new company called Alphabet, which is also the name of a BMW subsidiary.

"We are examining whether there are any implications over trademarks," a BMW spokeswoman said today. The spokeswoman said there were currently no plans to take legal steps against Google.

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

Google was not immediately available for comment.

A legal dispute is unlikely since Google made clear in its announcement on Monday that in creating a parent company called Alphabet Inc., it was not intending to build products and brands under that name.

Google has picked a name that is also a 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 U.S. 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.

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      08-12-2015, 12:51 PM   #2
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Is it Soup yet...?
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      08-12-2015, 01:07 PM   #3
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It is Soup yet...?
My mother use to spell out my name with it
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      08-12-2015, 01:53 PM   #4
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On another note I just had some blueberry pancakes
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      08-12-2015, 02:30 PM   #5
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On another note I just had some blueberry pancakes
I'm actually making some flapjacks right now
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      08-12-2015, 02:34 PM   #6
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If there's any controversy, Google could just buy BMW outright.
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      08-12-2015, 03:01 PM   #7
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If there's any controversy, Google could just buy BMW outright.
Not in 100000 years, not for sale!
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      08-12-2015, 03:45 PM   #8
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IANAL, but based on my experience with US trademark law, it's unlikely to infringe here in the US. In order for a mark to infringe, there must be the potential for confusion amongst consumers. Google's new company is a holding company. Ever heard of Leonard Green? Probably not. You've probably heard of Petco, J. Crew, Shake Shack, BJ's Wholesale, Del Taco, or one of their many other companies though.

Holding companies operate in the background. They're a legal name to put on bank accounts and SEC filings. There is very little chance that a claim by BMW would hold up in the US.

This Nolo article contains a good explanation of the "Likelihood of Confusion" test.

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encycloped...nfringing.html
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      08-12-2015, 06:10 PM   #9
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It won't be an issue because Google doesn't plan to offer services (or products) using the "Alphabet" moniker - its strictly a name for their holding company. I am sure they had an IP attorney do a trademark search - I've done a few for my clients when they were picking a name for some new service offerings.
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      08-12-2015, 06:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudiA4 View Post
If there's any controversy, Google could just buy BMW outright.
& convert the entire BMW lineup into driverless electric vehicles?
No thanks
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      08-12-2015, 06:37 PM   #11
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I am surprised they did not "Google it"
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      08-12-2015, 07:45 PM   #12
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No big deal. This issue will get resolved quickly.
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      08-13-2015, 07:53 AM   #13
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& convert the entire BMW lineup into driverless electric vehicles?
No thanks
BMW is doing that without Google (or now Alphabet).
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      08-14-2015, 08:46 PM   #14
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Great Moms rock like that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by EzequielR View Post
My mother use to spell out my name with it
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      08-14-2015, 08:49 PM   #15
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BTW... Great Given Name Sir...!


Quote:
Originally Posted by EzequielR View Post
My mother use to spell out my name with it
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      08-14-2015, 08:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red-sauerkraut
BTW... Great Given Name Sir...!


Quote:
Originally Posted by EzequielR View Post
My mother use to spell out my name with it
Haha, thanks brother!!! I have to give props to my older sister for that (14 years older) she choose it!
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