Home Auf Wiedersehen, Gmail – Google Loses Court Case in Germany

Auf Wiedersehen, Gmail – Google Loses Court Case in Germany

German courts have confirmed that Google’s fight for the G-mail trademark has been lost. 33-year old German businessman Daniel Giersch has won a case against Google, meaning that Google is not permitted to use the “Gmail” name in Germany. Giersch had registered ‘G-mail’ in 2000, four years before Google came out with its web mail service of the same name.

This is the second time that Google has had to give up the Gmail name – two years ago Google handed over the rights to the name in the UK. At that time Google changed the name to Google Mail, after its run-in with research firm Independent International Investment Research (IIIR) – which used the name G-mail to refer to a part of its financial analytics software.

Indeed Google is having trouble holding its own in Europe as a whole, in the Gmail battle. Again Giersch is at the center of it, as he also won in Austria and claims to own the name in Spain, Portugal
and Switzerland. Meanwhile in Poland, Google’s Gmail adversary is “a polish group of poets”.

Back in Germany, Giersch claims he is not cyber-squatting but has actually created a business around the name G-mail. He even issued a press release comparing himself to German entrepreneurs post-second world war:

“…the 33-year-old is putting himself in the
entrepreneurial tradition of the so-called “men of the first hours,” who
put Germany on the road to success in the post-war years. Backbone,
innovation and courage are the values that are important for Giersch.”

Continuing the war motif, Giersch also declares this “a legendary victory” – noting that “for many Daniels fighting “Googliaths,” confidence and financial means run out in the long course of battle.”

So what is G-mail, the German version?

Giersch’s G-Mail is a “hybrid mail system”. He claims it “is an ingenious
blend of innovative and well-tried communications solutions”. Well if he can build software as good as he fights court battles, then he’s onto a winner.

Giersch’s press release concludes by saying that that “the confirmed, unambiguous legal situation
is helping Daniel Giersch and his “G-mail” name finally go full steam ahead
and realise their catchy motto: “…und die Post geht richtig ab!” (“…and
the post is really taking off!”)”

The court victory will certainly do no harm in promoting G-Mail in Germany.

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