After an eight year fight, Google has secured the domain gmail.de. German entrepreneur Daniel Giersch has used the domain for years. In 2006 the search giant offered Giersch € 250,000 for the domain, but he did not accept. The matter went to court and a decision by Deutsches Patent und Markenamnt decided the domain belonged in …
he should have licensed it to them...
He would have been wealthy by 2007 and retired by 2008.
Re: he should have licensed it to them...
Nah, offering a large settlement, then using acceptance as such as an example of bad faith it a standard tactic in these courts. The main difference being that he would have probably also ended up paying the legal bills as well.
does he still get the money?
"Your honour, they may have bought it first, it may be theirs and they may have paid for it, but we're more well known and we have money."
Should have taken the money...
Did he still use it?
Or did he just keep it to get a payment out of Google? I believe this is a key point of such rulings.
Of course, the domain must have been near unusable: "address at gmail dot D E... No, not googlemail, gmail... And that's D E, not com! Yes, it's my address... No, it's not google..."
Re: Did he still use it?
Checking the Way Back Machine it looks like he did, not that I understand any of the webpage
What a fabulous way to lose 1/4M spondoolicks. Complete and utter greedfail. I doubt anything he was doing on the domain, if anything, made that much.
If he'd died it'd be a first class Darwin.
(I wonder if he had google ads on it.. lol)
We live in a society where greed is encouraged...
...and you blame the guy?
He wasn't a domain squatter. He was using the domain since before Google decided to buy Gmail. That he tried to get the highest possible price he could from an entity that is hardly strapped for cash is not reprehensible under the circumstances: It is commendable.
I hope the courts at least forced him to sell it, not give it away. Not that that's much better, mind.
What, don't you have any domain names yourself? I wonder what happens if in a few years a new "Google E" service comes out and they want your domain name for themselves? You going to just hand it over, or are you going to grab every penny you can, assuming you even want to sell?
But from what I remember, he was running a legit webmail service from the site for ages. Like, 1998 or something. It defnitely wasn't a case of parking, knew a few Germans that were using it! I think the guy just wanted to keep his "name" as part of his service.
And the Endgadget report mentions that the amount handed over was not disclosed, so it might not have been for free.
He probably got an increased offer in the end but needed the legal push to finalize it.
Well I hope so anyway.
gmail.de - why do they need it?
I may be proved wrong, but as far as I'm aware they do not use gmail.anything, henceforth they don't need the address. As far as I'm aware the only ways of accessing gmail are either by clicking on the link from google, or navigating to mail.google.com
Re: gmail.de - why do they need it?
<yourname>@gmail.com (and, hopefully soon, @gmail.de) is a valid Google mail address (resolves to the same account as the corresponding @googlemail.com address).
Proven wrong :)
Re: gmail.de - why do they need it?
Of course, stupid me, I was thinking purely of access methods, not email addresses. Excuse me while I find some coffee, I clearly need it.
A shameful decision.
Who says we're all equal before the law?
And we had a product called that - a ong time ago but we still wish we had bought the domain.
Giersch tried to register a trademark for "GMAIL" in Germany in July 2005; in October 2005 Google filed a protest citing "Identity of marks and G&S Likelihood of confusion Earlier sign & right to prohibit use of later TM under national law Earlier non registered TM & right to prohibit use of later TM under national law". He later withdrew the TM application.
I suspect that was the basis on which he lost the domain, as it would show that he knew about the existence of Google's trademark.
There was a similar situation a few years back in the UK. The details escape me but it wasn't to do with the domain name itself, rather someone already owning the right to the Gmail name in the UK. If you signed up for Gmail from within the UK, you got an @googlemail.com address, rather than @gmail.com. I remember signing up via a web proxy based in Holland, so I could get the @gmail.com version, as it was slightly less twattish sounding.
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