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BMW Stirs Up Google's Alphabet Soup

Aug. 11, 2015
BMW said Tuesday it was checking the 'trademark implications' of Google naming its new parent company Alphabet, which is the registered name of one of the automaker's subsidiaries.  

BERLIN—BMW said Tuesday it was checking the "trademark implications" of Google naming its new parent company Alphabet, which is the registered name of one of the automaker's subsidiaries.

Google founded Alphabet as a holding company to group its search engine and other projects such as research arm X Lab, investment unit Google Ventures and health and science operations.

The move surprised Munich-based BMW, which has for years run a subsidiary with the same name that provides corporate car fleet services.

It has the Internet domain name www.alphabet.com, while Google's new parent company has the address www.abc.xyz.

"It'll be necessary to examine the legal trademark implications," a BMW spokeswoman told German business magazine WirtschaftsWoche. She repeated the comment to AFP, stressing that this would be a "routine procedure."

BMW said it had not been contacted by Google before the surprise announcement of the new parent company.

BMW, along with Germany's Audi and Daimler, announced Monday they had teamed up to buy digital mapping service HERE, a competitor of Google Maps, for 2.8 billion euros ($3.1 billion) from Nokia.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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