The first thing you learn when starting a business is, when you come up with a name, make sure you google it to see if there is anyone using it.
But in the case of Google’s new venture, it doesn’t appear they googled their new name.
Google’s new parent company, Alphabet, has got some identity issues with its name. With a simple Google search, you will find the Internet domain alphabet.com and the trademark Alphabet are already owned by someone else, which would be BMW, the German car maker.
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According to The New York Times, the name isn’t just causing waves with BMW. On Wall Street, there is an Alphabet Funds. Lots of mid-size and small companies also use the name Alphabet. There is an Alphabet Energy in Hayward, California; an Alphabet Record Company in Austin, Texas; an Alphabet Plumbing in Prescott, Arizona; and numerous preschools, inns and restaurants with some variation of the name.
For many, the brush with Google’s aura is an interesting curiosity. “It’s quite flattering really,” said Steve Lockwood, the company secretary of Alphabet, a small recruitment and outsourcing firm in London, told the Times. “We probably won’t put it on the agenda to sue them over it, but if they want to make us a very generous offer for our domain names, we’ll certainly consider it.”
According to Bloomberg, Other companies also have the Alphabet name. Reuters notes that more than 100 companies have trademark registrations in the U.S. that incorporate the word alphabet in some capacity. For example, Alphabet Inc. is an Ohio company founded in 1965 that manufactures electrical components for the auto industry.
Even the @Alphabet Twitter handle already has an owner. It belongs to a man named Chris Andrikanich, who is probably receiving a bit more attention than he’s used to, Mashable wrote.
I guess we can feel a little bit better knowing that even Google has the same problem as many of us do when trying to buy a domain for a website.