BMW not selling Alphabet.com domain to Google

After it announced a new restructuring plan, Google named its new CEO, Sundar Pichai. This is now placed under a new larger organization, Alphabet, headed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. The company now houses Google itself, and other companies it has acquired, like Nest and Calico.

However, things aren't going as smoothly as planned. A report from The New York Times has stated that the new company has encountered a conflict with German car manufacturer BMW, who runs a company under the same name, and owns the domain Alphabet.com.

To make things worse, BMW has spoken regarding the issue, and has said that it has no plans to sell the domain. Micaela Sandstede, a BMW spokeswoman in Munich, Germany, emphasized that the website was very essential to Alphabet (BMW)'s business.

Ever since Google's news came out, Alphabet.com has experienced downtime, which is probably due to high traffic made by the announcement.

Furthermore, she said that BMW is currently examining whether any trademark infringement has taken place, in light of the conflict. When a company uses a certain name, it does not necessarily prohibit another company from using it. This rights violation occurs only if a company's use creates confusion with consumers, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

The new company does have a website which is currently located at abc.xyz. However, a blog post by Paul Graham, founder of seed fund Y Combinator has emphasized the importance owning a .com domain. He says it is "an absolute must," and that while domains aren't as important for finding a firm's online presence as they were before, he says not owning a .com domain is a "sign of weakness."

Source: The New York Times

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