A young German entrepreneur won a legal battle Thursday against Internet behemoth Google on the use of its "Gmail" brand for free electronic mail service.
The regional court in the northern city of Hamburg ruled that Google may not use the name in Germany, upholding 33-year-old businessman Daniel Giersch's claim to have a copyright on the name for an e-mail service he has been developing for seven years.
Giersch says he has used the name "G-Mail" since 2000, four years before the US giant launched its "Gmail" product.
Eble said Google had subjected his client to a costly three-year legal marathon that is still ongoing because the company has suits pending against him in Spain, Portugal and Switzerland.
Giersch denied speculation he was trying to extort a princely sum from the company for the brand name.
"Neither G-Mail nor I can be bought," Giersch said in a statement.
Google could not immediately be reached for comment