A morning like any other. We start our laptops, check our mails, check the logs, the coffee machine brews the water. Nothing unexpected seems to disturb the routine of every day, but then, after a two clicks in the search engine, a string of letters is listed that doesn't seem natural at all: We Share - VW enters the car sharing market. Disbelieving and disturbed we look at the screen, a few seconds pass. Again we click on Search in the belief that this can only be an anomaly in the system. No, again the same text appears: VW - We Share - Carsharing
Our glances freeze, focus on this one line while our faces deform into a glimpse you get when you don't know if it's a joke or reality. So again in summary, we - WeeShare, VW - We Share. We - Carsharing App, VW - Carsharing App. Ok, everything seems to fit, we smile and take a closer look at the imaginatively chosen name and the product behind it. Apart from a few sentences, nothing else is known. Too bad, we think and lean back in our chairs to arrange in thought what just happened.
We talked about this in the following coffee breaks and came to the conclusion to start an open communication with VW before we take further steps like for example this blog entry. So we put an e-mail on which we have sent to VW:
Dear VW Team,
With astonishment we came across your initiative with «We Share» on the net and want to present ourselves, as far as not yet known.
We are the team of WeeShare, a car sharing app that allows users worldwide to share cars in a comfortable way. You can find us under different search words in the net, for example also under «We Share». We have been on the market with our product since 2012 and have been made aware of your newest product by various users because the choice of name «We Share» is very confusing.
We communicate on different channels about the sharing scene and we will also report on this story. Before we do this, however, we have decided to get a statement from you.
We would be very grateful for a quick answer on how this choice of name came about and what your ideas are on how we can make this situation as constructive as possible. Please also consider that your customers will also land end up on our product while searching for «We Share» in the future.
With kind regards
While we were waiting for an answer from VW, we tried to imagine how the name was chosen: «Let's search the net for names of apps that already do the same thing.» Or «I'm already using WeeShare to share my car, let's take that name». It has to be said that creating a product name nowadays doesn't work without thorough research on the net. It seems that VW didn't do their homework or thought they could completely ignore us. On the other hand we tried to imagine how Volkswagen would react if we launched a new car and called it Voolkswagen, Wii-W or Folkswagen? Of course, we would immediately be covered up with lawsuits by the group's lawyers. We on our side can call VW only to the dialogue and document the incident transparently. So we waited patiently and after a week of silence we sent the second attempt for hearing:
Dear VW Team,
We informed you about our product WeeShare and the name conflict with your project a week ago.
We have not received any feedback from you yet. As we have already mentioned, we will report on the facts. You can already see the unpublished blog entry today: https://www.weeshare.com/de/blog/we-share-vw-kopiert-weeshare
If we still do not receive any feedback from you, we will publish this blog and issue a press release on it. If we are not allowed to use the used pictures or wording from your point of view, you are welcome to contact us, otherwise we will take this as confirmation.
We still hope that you will contact us to discuss the situation proactively.
After 2 weeks and a further contact attempt with announcement of this blog entry VW remained still mute. We take this as a GO for a comprehensive publication of this unfair competition. Also we take the opportunity and hang our grappling hook on the marketing machine of VW because: When someone's searching for WeShare in the AppStore, the original WeeShare will appear :). We expect that users who are approached by VW about car sharing will automatically find our app. Many thanks to VW for that. With this in mind, we wish the company every success and suggest that you publish at least one e-mail address which you should also check every now and then. In terms of network behavior we can offer our in-house course «WiiDoubleBuuh - The most common app mistakes».
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