04|16|2012 11:15 am EDT
8 years after the introduction of Google’s Gmail email offering, it appears it has settled a dispute over the use of the brand in Germany as shown by a transfer filing with the German patent office. When Google introduced the service worldwide in 2004, they encountered problems with the name in Germany, England and Switzerland, which forced Google to operate under the name GoogleMail instead. While the case in Switzerland was settled in 2009 and in the UK in 2010, the negotiations in Germany continued until the trademark was transferred last Wednesday. The domain gmail.de changed ownership on the same day and is now also owned by Google with the domain now displaying a Mark Monitor holding page.
The German brand for “G-mail… und die Post geht richtig ab” (gmail – and off the mail goes, based on a German idiom), which was registered in 2000 was owned by entrepreneur Daniel Giersch who enforced his rights in 2005. His email service is now available under the domain and name “@quabb.com”. While the price for the settlement is not known, Giersch turned down an offer of 250.000 Euro from Google for the mark and domain in 2006.
Google also had trouble obtaining the domain YouTube.de, but was able to settle with the owner of the domain in 2007.