Google Loses the Name Game

Dennis Faas's picture

Google has lost the Gmail name battle in Germany. The winning party, German entrepreneur Daniel Giersch, has had his own Gmail trademark in the country since 2000. Google, on the other hand, launched its Gmail service more recently in 2004.

This specific trademark case is not the first of its kind. In 2005, Google quarrelled with a U.K financial firm that had been offering a Gmail service to currency investors since 2002. It is not surprising that Google lost this overseas case as well; after all, Google's Gmail "does not appear to be an active domain in a number of countries including Barbados (, Greenland (, and Moldova (" which maintain their own Gmail services. (Source:

Is Google feeling greedy because it has to share the Gmail name?

It appears so. As a result of the many Gmail programs worldwide, Google is now trying to avoid sharing its name by negotiating and expanding. It is working to gain rights to the Gmail trademark in countries such as China, Poland, Portugal, Monaco, Norway, Spain, and Switzerland before these countries can develop independent Gmail email.

As for the Google vs. Giersch trial, it may have been a losing battle right from the start. Giersch has had a strong attachment to the Gmail name since he developed the email service seven years ago. With determined words he warned, "Neither G-Mail nor I can be bought." (Source:

However, Google sees its opponent as just a minor bump in the road. While the company is aware of the German court's decision, Google stresses that "it will in no way affect our ability to continue to provide Web email to our users in Germany. Our German users will continue to use 'Google Mail' and enjoy the same experience as users of Gmail worldwide." (Source:

Rate this article: 
No votes yet