Feeds

German courts demand no more Gmail squabbling

Google's trademark beef canned

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

German courts have banned Google from further attempts to wrestle the rights to the "Gmail" trademark away from a businessman who registered the name several years before it launched a webmail service.

In the latest decision - the fourth against Google in Germany over the trademark - a regional court rejected the search giant's claim.

The ruling, released yesterday by Hanseatic Higher Regional Court in Hamburg, put a stop to further challenges in Germany by telling Google it could not take the case to federal court. The judgement (Az 5 U 87/06, July 4, 2007) said: "Google infringed the young businessman's trademark that had previously been registered."

Daniel Giersch, 33, started using the name G-mail in 2000 to label his own physical mail service. Google didn't launch Gmail until 2004.

Giersch's lawyer, Sebastian Eble, said: "As far as the Hanseatic Higher Court is concerned, the legal situation is unambiguous to the extent that it has not allowed an appeal to the Federal Court of Justice."

In a statement, Google told The Reg: "While we regret the German court's decision, it will in no way affect our ability to continue to provide web email to our users in Germany. Our German users will continue to use 'Google Mail' and enjoy the same experience as users of Gmail worldwide."

Google's lupine pursuit of Giersch is unrelated to its standoff with German lawmakers over new laws that would ban anonymous email accounts. A legal challenge is one mooted option for Google, which takes the reasonable position that having to prove exactly who you are before opening an email account is bad for privacy on the web.

The trademark battle has rumbled on for three years. Google, which has rights to "Gmail" in 60 countries, is also trying to snatch the trademark in Spain, Portugal, and Switzerland. The Austrian courts have ruled in Giersh's favour. He said: "I have made it clear since the beginning that I will never sell the name. I am absolutely convinced of its success. Neither 'G-mail' nor myself are for sale."

In the UK, Google settled for the name "Google Mail", after it lost out on "Gmail" to research firm IIIR.

In other Googly news, its core advertising business announced today it would offer small businesses lacking a web presence a free starter page if they sign up for an AdWords account. On Tuesday, distant text ads rival Yahoo! said its nascent Panama platform was now available to new as well existing advertisers. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.