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The ABC of trade mark infringement
Google has just announced a restructure which will bring its search engine facility under the corporate title of Alphabet.
But type ‘Alphabet’ into Google and you will come across numerous businesses using the word as a trading name. One such company is a European fleet car service owned by BMW.
Alphabet’s website: www.alphabet.com, which has reportedly been out of service since Google’s announcement due to a large increase in web traffic, indicates that “the possibility of any trademark infringement is currently under review”. Alphabet (Google) are well aware that they could find themselves facing claims for trade mark infringement by owners of marks registered in any use class in which Google’s new parent company operates. A general search of the Intellectual Property Office website brings up 204 registered marks with the word “Alphabet” or similar.
Owners of marks confusingly similar to Alphabet will not find it easy or straightforward to resist this latest move by Google but they do at least have a chance of defending their business interests. Businesses which have no registered trade mark will have little hope.