Feeds

German Gmail blocker wouldn't sell up for millions

Thorn in Google's side set to remain in place

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The German businessman behind trade mark cases that could wreck Google's email branding across Europe would refuse millions of dollars for the G-Mail trade mark he owns, according to his lawyer. The man has already turned down a Google offer of $250,000.

Daniel Giersch is a venture capitalist who also owns and runs a physical and electronic postal service in Germany called G-Mail. In an exclusive interview with weekly technology law podcast OUT-LAW Radio his trade mark lawyer Sebastian Eble said that money would not be able to buy Giersch's compliance with Google's wishes.

"The German lawyers of Google contacted me and respectively Daniel in order to ask what was his aim and if he was ready to sell his trade mark for $250,000," said Eble. "But Daniel made it clear from the beginning that he had never had the goal to sell his trade mark."

"Daniel is a millionaire so you know, €250,000 is for Daniel not a big amount of money and on your other hand his aim or his goal is to do big business with this G-mail trademark. G-mail is a little bit like Daniel’s baby so it was never a question for him to sell his trade mark," said Elbe. "Even if they would, I do not know, offer him millions I do not think that Daniel would sell it because it is like his little baby, Giersch-mail, so it is named G-mail."

Giersch won a preliminary injunction then a full injunction to stop Google calling its web based email service Gmail in Germany, making it the only country apart from the UK in which the service is not called Gmail. A similar case in the UK has forced Google into branding the service Google Mail here.

The full injunction is being appealed by Google, which announced plans to launch its service in 2004. Giersch, though, registered his trade mark long before that.

"He applied for this trade mark in the year 2000 and the trade mark seeks protection for postal service on the one hand but also email services and telecommunications," said Elbe. "He then started using his trademark G-mail for email services and telecommunications in the year 2003."

"I think in November 2004 he heard that Google was starting email service named G-mail in the United States so his lawyers contacted Google, I think, in November or December 2005 but Google had at that time not shown any interest to talking to Daniel," said Eble.

Giersch also has trade marks in G-mail in Norway, Monaco and Switzerland, where he is pursuing action to protect his trade marks.

Copyright © 2007, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.