After seven long years, search giant Google can finally use the trademark "Gmail" in Germany for its email product, TechCrunch reported Sunday.
Last week Google quietly settled its dispute with Giersch. According to Germany’s GoogleWatchBlog, the Gmail.de domain and the Gmail trademark were transferred to Google on April 13. Google had been barred from using "Gmail" in Germany since 2005 since entrepreneur Daniel Giersch had registered the trademark first.
Before that, Giersch asserted that "G-mail" stood for "Giersch mail", his physical and electronic mail service in Germany.It was registered in 2000, long before Google had even announced its own email service in 2004.Thus, German Internet users who wanted to use Gmail had to go to googlemail.com.
While Google tried to appeal this decision, it ran out of legal options in 2007 after Europe’s Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market rejected its appeal.
Neither Google nor Giersch have commented on whether money was exchanged in this transfer, "though it seems unlikely that Giersch would have just transferred the domain to Google without some compensation."
In 2006, Giersch claimed that Google had offered him $250,000 for the German trademark rights to the Gmail name.
For now, it is not immediately clear if Google will now change the official address of its email service in Germany to Gmail.de.
However, it also noted German and UK Gmail users were already able to use @Gmail.com and @googlemail.com interchangeably.
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