Google are denied Gmail trademark in Europe

Google has once again been thwarted in its bid to trademark "Gmail" in the European Union because of a similar trademark in Germany. The Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) has just published a ruling made last month, dismissing Google's appeal of the original decision against the company. Instead, the trademark for "G-mail" remains securely in the hands of Daniel Giersch, who has run an e-mail service with the name since 2000.

The case started back in 2004 when Google first launched Gmail and applied for trademarks worldwide. In 2005, Giersch filed an opposition to Google's application on the grounds that the trademarks were nearly identical, as were the services they represented. Giersch won his case last year, due to the visual, verbal, and aural similarity, not to mention that Giersch's mark had already been protected in Germany.

View: Full Article @ Ars Technica

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13 Comments

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You must be an American.

In American English, a corporation is a single entity. In the Queen's English, a business is a plurality (think of it as many people).

Both are correct, depending on who typed it and the region they are from.

(markjensen said @ #5.1)
You must be an American.

In American English, a corporation is a single entity. In the Queen's English, a business is a plurality (think of it as many people).

Both are correct, depending on who typed it and the region they are from.

I'm pretty sure England / Britain speak UK-English, not the "Queen's English" (at least, not ye olde queen/king's English).

UK-English has been developing/changing over the years as has US-English.

(JiveMasterT said @ #1)
gmail is different than g-mail.

In the same way that Coca-Cola is different from Coca Cola. See why that wouldn't work or do i need to spell that too?

If people lack the ability to differentiate Windows Vista Capable and Windows Vista Premium SO MUCH that they sue out of frustration then they don't have a hope of understanding the difference between GMail and g-mail.

I guess this is yet another example of Google's "do no evil". Sorry that your name is already registered somewhere Google. Do you want a tissue to dry those eyes or are you going to keep fighting because, you know, you have to have your way?

that's like when people bitch about how the Xbox 360 is correctly spelled. X-360, XBOX-360, XBOX360, X360.. xbox360

WHATEVER!!!

[/random rant]

If they'd just called it "googlemail" like it is in Europe from the very beginning (obvious that it is mail from Google, rather than possible mail for G-men) all this could have been avoided. How much time would it have taken to verify trademark registrations worldwide before launching and then applying? If you're wanting international trademarks, this kind of due diligence is basic.

Google are denied Gmail patent in Europe

You mean "Google are denied Gmail trademark in Europe" right?. Patents and Trademarks are not the same thing.