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Google loses out in Gmail case - again

Googlemail, not Gmail

It’s a case of small businessman one, world’s biggest internet company nil after the authorities once more threw out Google’s fight to use 'Gmail' in Europe.

For the rest of the world Google uses Gmail as its term for online mail services. But although it started out doing the same in Europe, German Daniel Giersch filed an opposition to the company's claim for trademark as he had been running his own email service titled G-mail since the turn of the millennium.


Google immediately fought its corner, but the European Union’s copyright office cumbersomely named “Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market” (OHIM) found for Giersch last year.

An appeal was duly launched, with Google insistent that details like the different colour scheme and different strapline meant that nobody could confuse the two services.

However, it is Giersch that has emerged triumphant, with OHIM stating "There is a likelihood of confusion" between the two trademarks. It added that that people "will be misled into thinking that the marks indicate a shared commercial origin".

Google will continue to run the service under the name Googlemail, and it seems unlikely that it will give up the fight until it has no further legal recourse.