Businessman Daniel Giersch won a lawsuit against the giant Google over the company's on-line e-mail service. Google is not permitted to use the "Gmail" name in Germany anymore.
This is the result of lawsuite brought in by Daniel, who registered the trademark back in 2000.
"In doing so, Google infringed the young businessman's trademark that had been previously been registered," said the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court in its judgement (Az 5 U 87/06, July 4, 2007). "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," said Giersch's lawyer Sebastian Eble.
The trademark lawsuit over "G-Mail" has dragged from court to court, from one German federal state to another, for almost three years. According to the press infomation, each individual court process has required five-figure amounts. In addition to the "G-mail" lawsuit in Germany, legal proceedings by Google against Giersch are also underway in Spain, Portugal and Switzerland.
As lawyer Sebastian Eble confirmed: "Google has announced, at least in writing, to 'fight' my client abroad for as long as it takes before he drops the legal claims lodged in Germany." In Austria, the process has already ended with another win for Daniel.
In Switzerland, the first instance in the Google-led cancellation proceedings has been won. Following the final judgement, Giersch will also lodge a claim against Google to prevent the use of "Gmail" in Switzerland.
According to Giersch "I had already secured the 'G-mail' name for myself in 2000, four years before Google."
Google's main argument of defence was that Giersch's claim was an abuse of the law aimed only at delivering an overpriced sale of his name, but this was rejected in court.
Similarity in the names confuses people again and again, even the criminal authorities, to the extent that an injunction on the surveillance of e-mail accounts intended for Google arrived at the house of "G-Mail."