Google finally secures gmail.de domain
German trademark dispute ends after eight years
After an eight year fight, Google has secured the domain gmail.de.
German entrepreneur Daniel Giersch has used the domain for years. In 2006 the search giant offered Giersch € 250,000 for the domain, but he did not accept.
The matter went to court and a decision by Deutsches Patent und Markenamnt decided the domain belonged in Google's hands and ordered a transfer from G-mail GmbH of Berlin to Google Inc of Mountain View.
Google isn't operating the domain yet and has not announced its intentions. Nor have any details of a possible settlement been made public.
But Giersch has moved. His service now operates at and under the name of Quabb at quabb.com. ®
"Your honour, they may have bought it first, it may be theirs and they may have paid for it, but we're more well known and we have money."
Giersch tried to register a trademark for "GMAIL" in Germany in July 2005; in October 2005 Google filed a protest citing "Identity of marks and G&S Likelihood of confusion Earlier sign & right to prohibit use of later TM under national law Earlier non registered TM & right to prohibit use of later TM under national law". He later withdrew the TM application.
I suspect that was the basis on which he lost the domain, as it would show that he knew about the existence of Google's trademark.
Should have taken the money...