Google in potential trademark dispute with BMW

 In Branding, Community Trademarks, ctm, Domain name infringement, Domain name strategy, Domain names, Infringement, Intellectual Property, New generic top level domains, ngTLD, OHIM, The Trademark Thermometer, Trademark, Trademark law, Trademark name search

What happens when one of the largest companies in the world decides to restructure the whole company and the trademark name, for the new parent company, is already registered by one of the largest car manufacturers in the world?

A report from the New York Times says that Google has encountered some trouble when restructuring their company, naming their new parent company Alphabet. The German automaker BMW owns a fleet services company with the same name and they also own the domain name alphabet.com, which they are not interested in selling to Google. As an answer to the question above, BMW are currently investigating whether Google’s Alphabet has infringed on its trademark, no signs of legal action from BMW has yet been announced.

The question many of us are asking is, why didn’t Google googled Alphabet before changing their name? They would probably have seen that both the domain name and the trademark name is already owned by BMW. Google has decided to use www.abc.xyz for now as Alphabet’s main domain name.

How can your company avoid this problem?

  1. Naming process – Whether you are about to change your company name, start a new company, start selling new products or services or maybe you haven’t done any research when choosing a name for your current company, you should contact a trademark expert. We can help you to avoid these problems by making a trademark search covering the markets you are interested in to see if there are any potential registered trademarks that could affect your company.
  2. Domain name – Are your .com-domain taken by another person/company, let us investigate what possibilities you have to gain the domain name. By having your trademark registered, you have certain rights and you might be legally obliged to the domain name. Or maybe you should investigate the opportunity to use one of the new top level domains available like Google did with Alphabet’s domain abc.xyz?

Do you want to know more? Contact one of our project managers and they will guide throughout the process.

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