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.
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