Google won’t be able to use the Gmail trademark in Europe after losing an appeal to the OHIM (Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market) concerning a lawsuit by German VC Daniel Giersch.
From the Register:
“Giersch, who has held his trademark for six years, has been fighting this battle since Google launched its e-mail service in 2004. The German entrepreneur founded a same-day mail delivery service called GMail designed to offer a swifter alternative to the Deutsche Post.Last year, a district court in Hamburg already handed Giersch victories at both the preliminary and final stages of the litigation and Google was ordered to remove all Gmail references from its German service.After the ruling, Giersch also announced lawsuits to defend more recent registrations of the trademark in Switzerland, Norway and Monaco.“
Philipp Lenssen at Google Blogoscoped, whom I believe lives in Germany, has a few more details, including the fact that all German users of Gmail (except those who signed up early) have an @googlemail.com suffix because of the suit.