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BMW ponders if Google's Alphabet infringes trademark rights

BMW ponders if Google's Alphabet infringes trademark rights - BMW on Tuesday said it was determining whether Google violated any trademark rights after the Silicon Valley-based group started a new company called Alphabet, which is also the name of a BMW subsidiary.

A BMW spokeswoman said on Tuesday, "We are examining whether there are any implications over trademarks."

The spokeswoman said there were currently no plans to take legal steps against Google.

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

Google was not immediately available for comment.

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

Google has chosen a name that is also common brand among American businesses. Currently, there are 103 trademark registrations in the United States that include the word "alphabet" or some close variation, as per a database search of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

To prove a trademark violation, a trademark owner would have to show that the new Alphabet created a "likelihood of confusion" among consumers between the two brands. This could happen if both brands offered parallel goods and services.