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Google Sues Polish Poets Over gmail.pl

   
11:10 am on Feb 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Google has launched legal action against a group of Polish poets, demanding that they give up their Internet domain name gmail.pl, a member of the cultural collective said.

Izabela Krawczyk of GMAiL -- the "Grupa Mlodych Artystow i Literatow," or Group of Young Artists and Writers -- told AFP that Google had turned to the country's IT and telecommunications tribunal to try to stop them using the Web site address www.gmail.pl.

Google Sues Polish Poets Over gmail.pl [news.yahoo.com]

11:33 am on Feb 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Just coincidence then that it spells out gmail?
Only speculation but it makes you wonder if someone did see the main chance with the intention of cashing in on it in the future, after lengthy (price upping) protestations of innocent registration, not that theres much wrong in that if Google is so lax in its international registrations. Google deserve to lose and if they do we'll see whether or not this domain does have a price.

[edited by: JudgeJeffries at 11:43 am (utc) on Feb. 18, 2007]

1:52 pm on Feb 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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i dont speak polish but if the spelt out sitename as in the news makes actual sense and they have been running it before google rolled out gmail big G deserve to lose badly... since when do people claim right to abbreviations... they should tell google to f off
interesting to see how this turns out
2:36 pm on Feb 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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gmail.pl was registered on 2006.11.01 according to whois.pl

We can give comments only, decisions are taken by judges.

2:45 pm on Feb 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lammert is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



According to the whois information the domain was created at November 1st 2006. At that moment Gmail was already an established trademark of Google.

But it is interesting to see how Polish law will be interpreted in this case. The Polish government has been very active to block European software patents, so they apperently don't like protectional measures in the IT branche. Trademarks are things that didn't exist in their former communistic law and some former communistic countries still haven't passed new patent and trademark laws. I don't know about the situation in Poland though.

3:33 pm on Feb 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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>>Gmail was already an established trademark of Google

To be honest even that is with doubt. In the UK for example the gmail brand was never used by Google. It was always simple "Google mail"

London-based Independent International Investment Research says it started using the Gmail name for a web-mail application two years before Google.

Mack.

3:37 pm on Feb 18, 2007 (gmt 0)



Since it is so important for Google to have this domain name why they did not registered this domain prior to these guys? The domain has been available until last december right? They failed to register this domain and now they want to use finacial mussels and lawyers to fix it? NOT RIGHT! I hope Polish law will not allow this BS!
5:36 pm on Feb 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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After reading this, I wondered if other American companies registered .pl domains that matched their ".com" [i]brand/i]

I checked:

ford.pl - Ford Motor Company in Poland
cocacola.pl - CocalCola in Poland
gmc.pl - GMC in Poland
yahoo.pl - forwards to uk.docs.yahoo.com
google.pl - no server found

Then I checked some other ccTLD domains for "gmail":

www.gmail.jp - no server
www.gmail.it - site selling sporting goods
www.gmail.uk.com - a domain reg. site
www.gmail.ru - I don't read Russian, but not google
www.gmail.lt - new Lithuanian site control panel
www.gmail.tv - parked page

Had I found "gmail" at these ccTLD's, and NOT found other companies had the foresight to register ccTLD's, (e.g. Ford, GMC, Coke, etc) to protect their brands I would say G had a shot.

I would say Google had some claim to the name, but after having seen G took no measures to secure ccTLD (in many countries) for their gmail service, I say the claim should be dropped immediately, or that the Polish poets should file countersuit against Google for a frivolous lawsuit.

If G wants the Polish ccTLD, they should pay for it not try to strong-arm it away.

11:49 pm on Feb 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The website seems to be kind of new. Seems to be working since late 2005.

[web.archive.org...]

12:17 am on Feb 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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lammer.
Polish law? Comunistic?

Sounds like you know nothing about Poland.
Poland is a liberal democracy and member state of the European Union.
Poland is also a member of NATO, the United Nations, and the World Trade Organization.

So if you think a Polish law is wrong / unjust, you can go to the European Court of Justice.

Gmail is not a trademark in several european countries (you already know that).
Google is not god and they should respect the local laws as any other company or person.

1:06 am on Feb 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Google owns
gmail.jp

They have all of their brands in the Japanese extension

10:12 am on Feb 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Actually to nitpick slightly on an earlier post, gmail.com was briefly available to UK users until some company entered a whinge. The agreement was that future users would use googlemail but existing UK users could keep their gmail.com addresses.
12:26 pm on Feb 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Trademarks are things that didn't exist in their former communistic law and some former communistic countries still haven't passed new patent and trademark laws.

There are various conditions attached to EU membership, and compatible laws on intellectual property is, I believe, one of them. Such conditions usually have to be met before a new member is ratified. Take, for example, Turkey - the EU has set conditions (that have not been met) before entry talks can even begin in earnest.

Kaled.

4:36 pm on Feb 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lammert is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I did some investigation (never too old to learn :)) and discovered that domain names in Poland with the .pl extension are not governed by trademark laws directly, but by the own rules of the Polish Chamber of Informatics and Telecommunication. Unfortunately my knowledge of Polish language is not sufficient to understand the rules on their website.

Interesting however is that Google in May 2005 registered the domain googlemail.pl, i.e. long before the registration of gmail.pl by the group of young artists. It also registered the .de, .co.uk and other ccTLD extensions of this domainname.

The current owners of gmail.pl could use the registration of googlemail.pl (and they probably will as they mention the existence of googlemail.pl on their website) as a sign that Google had no interest in gmail.pl and wanted to brand their mail service as "Google Mail", rather than "GMail" and that therefore Google has no rights to obtain gmail.pl.

4:14 pm on Feb 20, 2007 (gmt 0)



the Polish poets should file countersuit against Google for a frivolous lawsuit.

in US court. that could put a new meaning into a phrase "poetic justice"

7:14 pm on Feb 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have checked the US Trademark Office records and it seems that Google does not even have exclusive trademark for "GMAIL" in United States.

There are three other "IT" very close related "GMAIL" marks no. 78515179, 78398525, and 78395931 existing side by side with Google marks no. 78398233 and 78395746.

I think Google has no case since polish artists are in "creative writing and publishing" business where Google is in "email services" provider business.

The unique description of goods and services is single decisive element for trademark awarding when few related trademarks already coexist.

 

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