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Google "Loses" Gmail in Europe

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the what's-in-a-name dept.

Google 154

Hippie Hippie Shake writes to mention that Google has just lost the right to use the name 'Gmail' in Europe, according to the EU. "Daniel Giersch, a German-born 32-year old entrepreneur, has just announced that his company received a positive ruling last week from the Harmonization Office supporting his claim that "Gmail" and his own "G-mail" are confusingly similar. G-mail is a German service that provides a "gmail.de" email address, but also allows for a sort of "hybrid mail" system in which documents can be sent electronically, printed out by the company, and delivered in paper format to local addresses." It looks like "Google Mail" from here on out, at least in the Old Country."

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154 comments

Google farts! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17833606)

and slashdot smells it! news at 11!

Re:Google farts! (5, Informative)

x_MeRLiN_x (935994) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834068)

Of course, we're still able to use our @gmail.com addresses. All this means is that users in the EU who didn't sign up before 2005 (and are therefore much less likely to care) missed the boat. Nobody really loses. European techies will continue to call it GMail.

All in all, a non-issue.

Re:Google farts! (2, Insightful)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17835856)

I got my gmail.com address in the UK before all this trouble, and if I send an invite to myself and create a mail account for someone I can still get them gmail.com addresses.

I don't know why this is, but it's very handy.

it's not that big of a deal... is it? (4, Insightful)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833630)

Daniel Giersch, a German-born 32-year old entrepreneur, has just announced that his company received a positive ruling last week from the Harmonization Office supporting his claim that "Gmail" and his own "G-mail" are confusingly similar.

That's not something a few hundred million dollars can't fix.

Re:it's not that big of a deal... is it? (3, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833752)

That's not something a few hundred million dollars can't fix.

You mean "That's not something a few hundred million dollars in stock can't fix."

Re:it's not that big of a deal... is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17835796)

And stock can be sold for dollars .

Re:it's not that big of a deal... is it? (2, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836972)

Unless it's restricted stock, I.E. stock that is issued by the company with a restrictive legend. In that case, it can't be sold, until the restriction against selling it is removed.

t's not really the same as receiving its value in cash: it's true that stock can be sold, but at what price, you do not know until you have a commitment from a buyer.

Re:it's not that big of a deal... is it? (1)

Aptgetupdate (1051164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17839292)

That's not something a few hundred million dollars can't fix.
You mean "That's not something a few hundred million dollars in stock can't fix."


You mean that's not something a few hundred million dollars in lawyers can't fix.

Nothing to fix. Incorrect interpretation of right (0, Insightful)

NRAdude (166969) | more than 7 years ago | (#17835176)

Many are over-looking the fact that trademarks and procedure, collected under an independent title for said documents, with an independently assumed trademark that is not derived or conferred from another, is fair to proceed given their unique merits. GMail is everywhere; it's in the trees, it's with Google Mail, it's with a (G)Hermanian, and it is lawful to continue the lawful use of said trademark as long as not intending to interrupt or defraud another's regular use.

In other words, that GMail collected and utilized on the 31-st Day of the first Month in the Year 2007 at 1324 and 987-miliseconds+ATOMIC_TIMESTAMP from MAIL.GOOGLE.COM does not infringe or detract from this GMail collected and utilized on the 31-st Day of the first Month in the Year 2007 at 1324 and 987-miliseconds+ATOMIC_TIMESTAMP from GMAIL.DE. The same goes for the nonsense of people forcing their IP and trademark to compel with threats/duress/coercion for a lawful man of the Hershey or (Mike)Rowe family to change their name to somthing that isn't seen as similar (yet independent) of a name adapted to a corporation.

Does anyone remember about Blizzard persuance upon anyone seen using Starcraft(tm) or similar IP, without question of independance, yet they are injunctioned at all from pursuing the trademark helled by a reacreational vessel and off-land vessel company Starcraft? This is the same agreement between ministries over subject matter, that there are many men out there given the name "Gregory Thomas" yet this one given to me is timestamped 04/20/xxxx and is lawful for use in my matter.

Re:Nothing to fix. Incorrect interpretation of rig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17835574)

Dude, lay off the amphetamines, for crissakes.
I read that though twice and it's still making little to no sense.

I can't re-examine what you're not quoting of me. (0)

NRAdude (166969) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836138)

And if you posted that in duplicate, it still wouldn't conflict with the prior post made on Wednesday January 31, @06:54PM with the record #17835574 [slashdot.org] . Look at all the Intellectual Property attached to the Slashdot-chartered corporate-sole known as Anonymous. Please be more accurate to your request; I can use more operators if you like: for justice, and logical sentence flow.

Wrong Country, Wrong Law (2, Informative)

andersh (229403) | more than 7 years ago | (#17835808)

Perhaps you should consider the fact that Europe and the US have different laws and systems of law? US Common Law is very different from European "Roman" civil law. Some issues are covered by international conventions and agreements. But this is an issue for german domestic law. Especially considering the fact that gmail.de existed prior to any Google application for a German trademark.

Re:Wrong Country, Wrong Law (0)

NRAdude (166969) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836096)

the fact that gmail.de existed prior to any Google application for a German trademark.

Looking to the Uniform Commercial Code, has anyone not considered that all transmittals through the webserver are intellectual property granted to the domain registrant? I know of a number of Public Notice directories that re-print on a webserver their bulletins and notice from suitors. Foremost, acknowledging communication with Google and cerain evidence of secured insignia and design transmitted is conclusive as prior art brought into commerce not to prejudice the claims of another.

Foremost, the claim made in Germany was filed (submit to the jurisprudence and diction of the trustee to minister on behalf) and oath and bond evinced to the judge weighting on the matter. There would need to be evidence that Google made use of its GMail to prejudice the claims of GMAIL.DE, of which I and others have not seen. Just because there are Geese(tm) and Cockroaches(tm) in America doesn't mean to prejudice Geese(tm) and Cockroaches(tm) in Germany. Though they may inter-bread, the derivative is subject to the congress that allowed the matter defacto.

Does that sound Right, or controlling Interest? What are Google's interests in GMail's GMail(tm), on issue of a Certificate of Search?

Re:it's not that big of a deal... is it? (1)

zerosix (962914) | more than 7 years ago | (#17835328)

One would think he could just change the name to "G-spotmail". Would deffinately be a traffic getter!

Re:it's not that big of a deal... is it? (1)

charlieman (972526) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836954)

Actually, i think it would be a good idea to be registering GSomethings and iSomethings, just in case...

Re:it's not that big of a deal... is it? (1)

mattyrocks86 (881453) | more than 7 years ago | (#17838856)

why spend millions in cash and resources into keeping the name "gmail" when "google mail" works just as good? unless there is good reason to believe that "gmail" will turn a higher profit than "google mail", spending such money is "illegal" since it is a waste of company resources and not wat is best for the financial interests of the company.

Re: It's not that big of a deal... is it? (1)

mutende (13564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17839134)

why spend millions in cash and resources into keeping the name "gmail" when "google mail" works just as good?
Gmail is short and rhymes with email.

Well? (5, Funny)

sebisor (311819) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833650)

Congratulations Daniel. Looks like in EU at least the David can defeat Goliath.

Re:Well? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17834338)

It's kind of funny. If this had been a big corporation taking the name away from a little guy [wikipedia.org] everyone would be up in arms about how unjust this practice is.

Re:Well? (2, Insightful)

Otto (17870) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834966)

Only if the little guy registered his domain first.

Unfortunately, in this case, denic.de isn't giving enough info in their whois lookups to tell when gmail.de was registered.

So it's hard to know who to root for.

Trademark since 2001 Feb 24 (2, Informative)

pbhj (607776) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837362)

The domain appears to have been extent prior to 25 Feb 2004.

http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://gmail.de [archive.org]

However, the first two archived pages are error messages so it's not clear if this was being used for an email service. If this was a registered trade mark then it wouldn't matter as the Nice Classification for marks is Telecoms (which surely encompasses websites) - I'm not sure how it works with unregistered marks though.

http://oami.europa.eu/CTMOnline [europa.eu] from OHIM (the European TM registry) shows the earliest registration of "gmail" to be by Google Inc. 14/Apr/2004.

As I understand it though, at least in Europe, you have to protect a mark (to maintain it as an designation of origin of goods or service) otherwise you lose your rights to it.

In summary ... a bit more info please.

Re:Well? (2, Insightful)

Throtex (708974) | more than 7 years ago | (#17835318)

That's not funny; it's sad. Intellectual property rights are demonized by those who don't understand them. While there are certainly intelligent arguments to be made about the scope of trademark, patent, copyright, trade secret, and antitrust law, you won't find it here.

Re:Well? (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837028)

That's not funny; it's sad. Intellectual property rights are demonized by those who don't understand them.

You could say the same thing about god. I'd certainly demonize the 'god' of the old testament. In fact, 'demonic' seems downright appropriate for that particular imaginary menace.

And I don't believe that there is any such thing as 'intellectual property' so its not as if I don't believe in it (ie believe that it is a bad idea) I just don't believe that it *exists* full stop. Its just make-believe. Much like god. And every bit as demonic as the god of the old testament/jews/moslems.

Re:Well? (2, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834600)

Congratulations Daniel. Looks like in EU at least the David can defeat Goliath.

 
In the U.S., it takes The Donald to defeat the Rosi...errr Goliath. ;)

Re:Well? (2, Interesting)

damista (1020989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17835168)

Yes and no. Generally, I think it is a good thing, that the "underdog" can win for a change. My problem with the ruling is though, that the name Giersch owns is not "G-Mail" as stated in the article but "G-Mail...und die Post geht richtig ab" (sorry, really hard to translate if it's supposed to make sense). While "G-Mail" and "Gmail" may be easily confused, I don't think there's any real danger to confuse "G-Mail...und die Post geht richtig ab" with "Gmail".

Re:Well? (1)

haupz (970545) | more than 7 years ago | (#17835698)

There is no such danger indeed. Basically, that Giersch guy is just someone who smells money in the opportunity to kick a large company up the arse. A plain nuisance, nothing else. Ridiculously enough, he is said to be right by German justice. Completely not understandable.

Those two cannot possibly be confused with each other unless you're some creepy kind of lawyer that manages to convince some clueless judge of their idiot opinion.

Craziness. Ah, well. Let the Giersch guy be happy 'bout himself and rejoice in whatever he wants.

Re:Well? (1)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837698)

There is no such danger indeed. Basically, that Giersch guy is just someone who smells money in the opportunity to kick a large company up the arse. A plain nuisance, nothing else. Ridiculously enough, he is said to be right by German justice. Completely not understandable.

I completely agree that it's ridiculous. But after seeing a whole bunch of huge companies win BS lawsuits like this one, it's nice to see one of them get shafted for a change. It's petty and childish, but that doesn't make it any less amusing.

Translation - (4, Funny)

lecithin (745575) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833660)

"Daniel Giersch, a German-born 32-year old entrepreneur, has just announced that his company received a positive ruling last week from the Harmonization Office supporting his claim that "Gmail" and his own "G-mail" are confusingly similar."

Translation -

"Daniel Giersch, a German-born 32-year old entrepreneur, has just announced"

That he is now G-Uber Rich!

Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17835706)

"That he is now G-Uber Rich!"

That should be: "That he is now a Rich Goober!".

Lost rights to a beta product name... (3, Interesting)

Lanoitarus (732808) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833714)

I think this is the first time Ive ever heard of where a company has succesfully been challenged and lost the right to a name while a product was still in "beta". Its already Google Mail in the UK, no? I wonder if this large a swath of the world will cause google to just rebrand the whole thing google mail for everyone, just for continuity and branding's sake. As much as I like the name Gmail and would be sad to have to say something longer all the time, it does look to my first cursory glance like this was a legit claim as opposed to cybersquatting, so perhaps its the right thing.

Re:Lost rights to a beta product name... (5, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834080)

As much as I like the name Gmail and would be sad to have to say something longer all the time

Um.... yeah. This definitely makes the list of things that make me sad.

The domain drives the branding. (0, Redundant)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834088)

Well, they might rebrand it, but people are going to go nuts if they actually change the email addresses in other countries away from "gmail.com" ones; so regardless of whether it says "Google Mail" or "Gmail" at the top of the page, GMail is what most folks in English speaking countries are going to call it, I suspect.

Really, I think that Google is just going to wait a while, and then once the media coverage has disappeared, buy this guy's domain. Having "gmail.cc" for every other First World CC in the world except DE, just isn't going to fly; they need that domain, and now it's just going to be a lot of negotiation to work out a price.

Re:The domain drives the branding. (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834242)

Well, this ruling would only apply to gmail.de, right? It seems unlikely that it would apply to gmail.com, as well.

In that case, German Gmail users suffer - of course, given how EU laws work, European Gmail users suffer.

Secondly, the services provided are quite different (similar to Apple Records and Apple Computer, pre-Apple, Inc. of course).

But you're probably right. There is no problem that large amounts of moolah can't solve. ;)

Re:Lost rights to a beta product name... (1)

Dan100 (1003855) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834692)

You're right, it is now Google Mail in the UK. But I've yet to see a "googlemail.com" address (maybe not many people have signed up since the change?), and everyone I know still calls the service Gmail.

Re:Lost rights to a beta product name... (1)

kbox (980541) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837056)

people have signed up. But if you sign up as username@googlemail.com you still recieve mail sent to username@gmail.com, so people sign up with a googlemail.com account, and use a gmail.com email addy.

Re:Lost rights to a beta product name... (1)

johansalk (818687) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837692)

Who cares. Yes, it is @googlemail in the UK, but nonetheless, if you sign up with an @googlemail address and send yourself an @gmail message you'd still get it. I therefore, though I have a @googlemail address, still give people a @gmail one and still get all they write to me.

Good for him! (4, Insightful)

posterlogo (943853) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833748)

...because he legitimately had use of the G-mail term in advance. But if he's smart, he'll either capitalize on the name recognition and make a really nice mail portal system, or sell to Google. Providing a somehow "inferior" product under that name might not work out so well in the long run.

Perception of lawyers (2, Informative)

adambha (1048538) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833778)

From the article:

Giersch, who said in an interview last year that "Google's behavior is very threatening, very aggressive and very unfaithful, and to me, it's very evil."

Of course, very few people would describe lawyers on the other side of the courtroom with any 'nice' adjectives, especially lawyers working for a Goliath of a US corporation. Saying 'very evil' is a bit of a strech.

Re:Perception of lawyers (2, Funny)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834218)

Saying 'very evil' is a bit of a strech.

Maybe when you say "bad" in German it literally translates to "very evil!!!!" Ever see a German say "I love you" to another German? I'm not sure but it always looks like the couple wants to tear each others throats out when they say it.

Gmail vs Googlemail (1, Flamebait)

Elentari (1037226) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833814)

The @googlemail addresses are too long and clumsy. I made use of a US based proxy when I signed up for my account to ensure I'd get the more succinct gmail version. Bloody Germans.

Re:Gmail vs Googlemail (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17833986)

err... not saying that was pointless but..

PING gmail.com (216.239.57.83) 56(84) bytes of data.
PING googlemail.com (216.239.57.83) 56(84) bytes of data.

Re:Gmail vs Googlemail (1)

asc99c (938635) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834056)

It's always been Googlemail here in the UK, but I still got a gmail address - I don't think it was ever made difficult to get gmail.com here - I seem to remember I just had to pick which I wanted.

Re:Gmail vs Googlemail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17834146)

It hasn't always been googlemail in the UK - that only happened in late 2005, early 2006 as a result of a different UK ruling. It makes no odds anyway - @gmail.com can still be used, the mail still reaches you, and you can just go into your settings and change the reply addy to @gmail.com.

Re:Gmail vs Googlemail (3, Interesting)

meme lies (1050572) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834674)

The @googlemail addresses are too long and clumsy. I made use of a US based proxy when I signed up for my account to ensure I'd get the more succinct gmail version. Bloody Germans.


Yeah damn the Kraut for having the name first, as well as a legitimate trademark and a business in full operation. Don't blame Google for failing to do their homework, or for assuming "the little guy" would let himself be bought out for a relatively trivial sum ($250,000; yes it's a large number but the "gmail" name is worth many times that.)

 

Re:Gmail vs Googlemail (1)

dotdash (944083) | more than 7 years ago | (#17835572)

You were OK until you said

Bloody Germans
I find your use of that phrase in very poor taste. It makes me almost want to suggest that your comment be marked a flamebait.

Strangely enough, the website doesn't show up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17833840)

Well, okay, so I jumped the gun a bit, but removing all search results for gmail in Europe would be funny.

This is news? (2, Interesting)

AusIV (950840) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833962)

I heard about this quite a while ago. A quick google search reveals: Gmail Trademark in Dispute [internetnews.com] (if you don't want to click it, it's an article on the subject dated August 12, 2004). This may be another instance of someone claiming rights to it, but it certainly isn't the first place Google has lost the GMail trademark.

Hard to Argue with It (1)

porkrind (314254) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833996)

Well, that's the way the cookie crumbles. As has been suggested elsewhere, perhaps Google can simply buy him? I wonder how much it's worth to them.

-John Mark
Hyperic Community Outreach

$250K? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834022)

Article says he was offered $250K [wonder if that's cash?]... damn I'd sold. Used the money to tour the world, then apply for a job at Google.de

Tom

Re:$250K? (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834122)

$250K? Yeah, I'd love it too. However, I bet the next offered transaction has another zero at the end of it.

Re:$250K? (2, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834168)

doubt it. Something tells me google isn't the company to reach out twice.

I mean yeah, it's good that the guy has character and defends his creation [G-mail that is]. But I dunno, if google wanted to give me 250K for libtom.org I'd be finding a pen.

Tom

Re:$250K? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17834616)

If he had a money-making business that's identified with the name, 250k is too low. He didn't seem to be the mom's basement type, either.

Re:$250K? (3, Interesting)

naChoZ (61273) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836844)

Article says he was offered $250K [wonder if that's cash?]... damn I'd sold. Used the money to tour the world, then apply for a job at Google.de

You'd be throwing away a bunch of money. A few years ago, a small mom-n-pop cable tv company out in New Mexico owned the roadrunner.com domain. My employer, a certain other, much larger cable modem company was understandably interested in that domain and they offered the owner a similar 250K low-ball figure.

The owner had an idea of what it would be worth to them so she declined. Then the larger company tried the bully approach, taking her to court and citing trademark infringement, etc. She knew she would probably win since it's the state bird of NM and had been part of the name of her company all along. She was right and she won the case. The larger company knew they were going to have to cough up the dough if they wanted that domain and they did. 8 figures worth.

well, how nice (4, Insightful)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834106)

"Daniel Giersch, a German-born 32-year old entrepreneur, has just announced that his company received a positive ruling last week from the Harmonization Office supporting his claim that "Gmail" and his own "G-mail" are confusingly similar.

So when his rather stupid venture tanks (several people have tried his kind of service before), he can at least get some money for the domain name.

No. (0)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834248)

I'm sorry, but I just can't take seriously any ruling made by the "Harmonization Office." Is that the same German ministry that issued the mandate about being especially nice to children? Oh well, we all know he's just going to eventually sell the domain to Google anyway. Resistence (to the cash) will be futile.

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17834752)

Try learning to read, dumbfuck. Its not about a german office/ministry but one of the EU. This is quite a difference. ...says a german who is unhappy with many EU rulings as well and believes this german guy with the gmail trademark to be a scammer. His "service" is nonsense and all his behaviour is clearly intended to force google to hand over him a shitload of money. I hate such scum.

Pagerank (1)

NotFamousYet (937650) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834440)

Seems there's been a lot of heat around Google.de [infoworld.com] lately.

On the bright side for the new owner, one had to wonder if he'll simply attempt to sell the domain, or keep it for his own G-Mail app.

Considering the amount of incoming links, that has to be the best SEO deal ever!

they should brand one for the Euro market then (5, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834588)

Instead of 'g' for Google, they could use 'e' for Europe - and call it something like E-mail or somesuch.

Re:they should brand one for the Euro market then (2, Insightful)

iphayd (170761) | more than 7 years ago | (#17838368)

What's really funny is that it can't really stand for (G)erman- Mail, as if it was tailored to actual Germans, wouldn't it be (D)eutschland-Mail?

Re:they should brand one for the Euro market then (1)

amuzulo (643695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17838984)

It would be Deutsche Mail, like Deutsche Bahn (German train) and Deutsche Telekom.

shocked (1)

exspecto (513607) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834736)

This being slashdot, I was surprised the article wasn't entitled 'Google "looses" Gmail in Europe'.

Ah, good (1, Insightful)

JoshJ (1009085) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834782)

I'm glad to see that some courts are coming to their senses and realizing that sticking a "G" or "i" in front of something doesn't necessarily make it a trademark.

Re:Ah, good (1)

Throtex (708974) | more than 7 years ago | (#17835464)

Actually, not only does it make perfect sense for something like "Gmail" to be trademarkable, it's a decently strong mark (suggestive? possibly even arbitrary). If I say I have a Gmail address, what do you think I'm referring to? If you associate it with the Google service, then there's your justification for its trademark status right there.

Re:Ah, good (1)

JoshJ (1009085) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837340)

Yeah, I phrased that poorly. What i really meant was that:
It certainly shouldn't be to the point where Gwhatever or iWhatever are automatically considered trademark infringement, like that controversy over the ivibrator (or whatever it was called) a while back.

Possible new names? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17834806)

Geemail
mailg
googlem
goomail
ggmail
omgmail

I think GGmail would be great. WTF GG! Too bad it appears to be a Gorgeous Girls mailing list. Ok, then goomail is my second choice... mm goooooooo mail. (almost like moomail)

Evil? (1)

PineHall (206441) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834916)

This quote

Giersch, who said in an interview last year that "Google's behavior is very threatening, very aggressive and very unfaithful, and to me, it's very evil."
reminds me of a UserFriendly cartoon [userfriendly.org]

Get ready (-1, Troll)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 7 years ago | (#17835330)

for Google to respond by adjusting their algorithm.

Don't be surprised if gmail.de gets a pagerank of 0

why doesn't google (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 7 years ago | (#17835690)

just buy the guy out? His service sounds like something they would like to provide anyway.

You know.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17835790)

We could try goomail, but I don't think anyone wants that in their inbox..

domain name is a de-facto trademark? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17835802)

So the courts are taking the view that trademarks and domain names occupy the same space? How else can one interpret the ruling that one company's trademark (G-mail) takes precedence over another company's domain name (gmail.com).

G in Gmail will Stand for Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17836448)

I suspicion that Google will just *outright* buy Germany in its entirety. They will then hand the boy a toothbrush as make him clean poopers, all the while making him chat "I will not embarrass my uberfuhrher in public again."

Mach schnell heir Googs! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17836586)

Gmail = 3:2 consonant/vowel ratio. That's not good enough for a German catchphrase anyway!

How will this affect gmail.com? (1, Insightful)

davidc (91400) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836724)

This is BS. How does this affect gmail.com, registered in the US? As far as I can see, anyone anywhere in the world can sign up a gmail.com account without prejudice. The company is based in the US; they're not marketing gmail.de, it's gmail.com. It's not even g-mail.com. How can the EU prevent its citizens using gmail.com, and require that they use g-mail.de (or whatever) instead?

Re:How will this affect gmail.com? (4, Informative)

smurfsurf (892933) | more than 7 years ago | (#17838680)

> How does this affect gmail.com, registered in the US?

Not at all. Nobody claimed otherwise.

> The company is based in the US;

But they operate in the EU as well and have quite some offices, so Google as a cooperation has to adhere to local laws for business they do in the EU. The physical location of the server does not matter.

> they're not marketing gmail.de, it's gmail.com

They are marketing a "GMail" service (no TLD). Google wants to use "GMail" as a name (the domain is just a bonus, the dispute is about the trademark "GMail"), the current owner claims to have older trademark rights to the name in Germany.

> How can the EU prevent its citizens using gmail.com,

They don't prevent you at all. You can go to the US site and register and use this access.

> and require that they use g-mail.de (or whatever) instead?

Currently, Google may not use the name "GMail" for its service in Germany (= advertising and offering a service to the people in Germany under the name "GMail"), as this would infringe an older trademark hold by some other guy. A trademark must not be 100% identical (gmail vs g-mail), if it concerns the same field of business and bears a high probability of being confused (and some other additional conditions). This is the current situation in this legal dispute.

Positively Orwellian (1)

kbolino (920292) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836922)

Is it just me or does the "Harmonization Office" sound like something straight out of a George Orwell novel? Its name vaguely reminds me of the Ministry of Peace from Nineteen Eighty-Four. Should we call it HarmOff in Newspeak?

Didn't we kick their butts twice? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17837134)

Didn't we kick their butts twice in the last 100 years? It's a USA world and everyone else is just living in it. Frankly, who cares about any *.de domain? GMail.com belongs to Google and that's all that matters. If the Germans start raising any real stink, we'll just smack them back down in their place like we did in WWI and WWII. In a totally unrelated matter, German cars suck too. They are boxy and they all leak oil. I'd rather push a Japanese car than drive a German one!

Some clarifications (5, Informative)

elbrecht (211105) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837018)

1) There are ongoing disputes still in court. This is not the end of the story

2) according to discussions on heise.de this guy has probably registered his trademark between the start of gmail.com and the time google wanted to register gmail.de, they DO own g-mail.de

3) the trademark actually is "G-Mail ... und die Post geht richtig ab!" whole slogan WITH hyphen.

4) German trademark law DOES provide ways to see if registering was in "bad faith", and that is not dealt with in the EU, but Germany. That could turn the whole story.

5) He DOES NOT provide service. What he announced is "ready next month" for like all the years since he registered the domain. Probably vaporware.

6) Registering a trademark s.o. else is using in another country and designing vaporware is what 4) is about: straight way to lose the tm.

Some people also told he sort of knew that gmail in the internet was "taken", but discussions did not provide promised sources and no one at heise.de jumped in.

All in all looks like david-goliath, but also symicron-explorer so stay tuned. But keep in mind actual deals of Mr. Giersch are tell tale by himself and not at all confirmed. He might just be some greedy jerk with a rip off scam in trademark law.

Trademark is longer and situation more complex (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17837068)

Actually, Giersch's trademarked string in full length is "G-Mail ...und die Post geht richtig ab".

This is a pretty lame phrase translating approximately to "G-Mail ...it really kicks ass", playing on the meaning of the phrase "die Post geht ab" = "it kicks ass" and "Post" = "(snail) mail".

Due to the fact that his trademark in principle only covers the full length of the phrase, his standing in courts is not as strong as he pretends, and his registering was very close to google's announcement of their gmail service. His trademark is still challenged in court.

Also, Giersch's company is in "we'll launch very soon, honest!" state for years now, the only progress being in regularly changing website designs. This is not as clear a "innocent David" vs. "corporate Goliath" situation as people outside of Germany tend to see. To me, this guy more looks like our very own tiny SCO.

Make TLD's fairer...only use 2 letter country code (1)

bloc (622683) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837310)

Again the creation of top level domains was flawed.

Here's what they should have done.

1) All top level domains end in 2 letter country codes and move all the .com .net etc to .com.us and .net.us.

2) So what would happen with slashdot.com after it got moved to slashdot.com.us?

You first set your browser's country code. Most of us reading this would set this .us centric. In your browser you type in the URL slashdot.com and the browser will autmatically append .us. However the URL will still appear as slashdot.com. It's completely transparent for .us users.

Now if we look at this gmail example, users from germany would set their browser to be .de centric. When they want to visit gmail.com, the browser would direct them to gmail.com.de. IF they want to visit google mail, they would need to type in gmail.com.us.

HOWEVER, say you're an american travelling in germany with your laptop. Well since your browser is set to act as .us centric. You will still type in gmail.com and that will direct you to gmail.com.us.

Ahhhh how elegant a solution and it will be completely transparent for Americans (I will sell this idea for 1 paypal penny $US :) ).

It makes it harder for google/yahoo to dominate the world cause they would want to purchase .yahoo.com.[code] in every country OR they pay firefox to set the country centric code to .us ... and we have the same system as we do now. Nice!

I think this is an appropriate sacrifice for the decrease in lawsuits between countries and domain names.

Correction (1)

dopelogik (862715) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837690)

Unless your title was meant to tease the meaning of "loses".. I'd say that Google Loses "Gmail" in Europe would be more suiting

[/troll]

This just proves how great google is! (1)

Wescotte (732385) | more than 7 years ago | (#17838254)

Any evil corporation worth a damn would have squashed this little problem in a week!

He should have settled... (1)

nexuspal (720736) | more than 7 years ago | (#17838860)

They lawyers are "evil" but he says that for a reason. These are the BRIGHTEST PEOPLE ON EARTH, and they will eat you alive, no joke. He would have been wise to program the mail service himeself or hire someone to do it (80 hours for a small scale system). Right now is the time to settle for the 250k or whatever they are offering now considering the judgement IMO...

Repercusions (1)

norteo (779244) | more than 7 years ago | (#17839456)

Hello, I am a European GMail user. I'll just say that if, because Daniel Giersch wants to be rich, the quality of my GMail goes down, I'll go after him...
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