Google’s new parent company won’t be able to register alphabet.com, because it’s already owned by German carmaker BMW, who have a fleet of cars under the same name, and are unamused to say the least by Google’s surprise move.
The two giants are now locking horns over the name - and BMW spokesperson Micaela Sandstede said in an interview with the New York Times that the company is holding on tight to its domain:
We are not planning to sell the domain.
Instead, the German carmaker is looking into whether Google’s new name constitutes a trademark infringement. Ouch.
Alphabet’s quirky choice of website, abc.xyz, suddenly appears not so much clever play as a necessary concession to others who got there first.
And the website’s not the only thing that was already taken: Google had to announce its new holding company without either the obvious choice of website or Twitter account.
The Twitter account @alphabet was registered in 2007, by a man living in Ohio, who has got quite a bit more attention than he was expecting over the past couple of days.
Well, that was an interesting way to end a Monday...— Chris "Alphabet (not Google)" Andrikanich (@alphabet) August 10, 2015
To avoid confusion, he’s now added an extra line to his bio:
** I'm not affiliated w/ Google/Alphabet Inc. **