According to an article published on February 2, 2007 in ITWeek.co.ukGoogle has lost the legal battle over the registration of its Gmail trademark in Europe, after a German court ruled in favor of businessman Daniel Giersch, owner of the German website G-mail.
Giersch has owned this brand since 2001 and has been in dispute with Google over its mail service since its announcement in 2004.
However, Google claims that the decision of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) not to register the Gmail trademark across Europe will not influence the practical use of the Gmail trademark in Europe. According to a Google spokeswoman, except in Germany and the United Kingdom, where Google's service will be called Google Mail, the product will continue to carry the Google "Gmail" brand.
Giersch had already won both the preliminary hearing and the final hearing of the case in 2006, with the ruling of a district court in Hamburg, forcing Google to withdraw any reference to Gmail from its service in Germany. He had previously had to do the same in the United Kingdom, where he lost the rights to the name after reaching an out-of-court settlement in 2005 with the financial investigation company IIIR.
According to Giersch, Google offered him $ 250,000 to drop the case, adding that he found the actions of the American company "very threatening, very aggressive and very unfair."
He is currently defending similar lawsuits in Monaco, Switzerland and Norway.