Google loses Gmail trademark in German court


5 Jul 2007

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The Gmail trademark has been registered in Germany since 2000 to one Daniel Giersch, and although Google has been battling for its use within Germany for some time now, the courts have ruled today in favour of Giersch.

Google has been advised not to bring this lost appeal any further, as German law is clear on the matter and will not entertain any more attempts.

Although Giersch had been ordered by Google not to use the Gmail name within the European Union, he is still entitled to use it in Germany, Switzerland, Monaco, and Norway.

Earlier this year, in January, the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM), which oversees EU trademarks, has rejected Google’s initial appeal, in a court battle that has been ongoing since Gmail launched in 2004.

Germany isn’t the only place where Google have had to stop using the Gmail name. Since October 18th 2005, Gmail in the UK has been changed to Google Mail, and all those who registered since then were given ‘@googlemail.com’ addresses.

Gmail in the UK currently belongs to financial services company, Independent International Investment Research (IIIR).

By Marie Boran