Feeds

German Gmail blocker wouldn't sell up for millions

Thorn in Google's side set to remain in place

High performance access to file storage

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.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.