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No more "Gmail" in the UK

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  • No more "Gmail" in the UK

    Google has decided to drop the name "Gmail" in the UK due to a legal dispute. Anybody from the UK registering a new account will have to have "" as their e-mail.

    From The Times
    Google could be forced to rebrand its e-mail service across the whole of Europe following its failure to properly register "Gmail", according to a leading trade mark lawyer.

    It is estimated Google could have run up a legal bill totalling hundreds of thousands pounds in its attempts to register Gmail as a trade mark in the European Union. But the real hit could be the loss of face the company could now suffer if it is forced to ditch the brand across the territory.

    The internet search company announced today that it had dropped the "Gmail" name in the UK, following a long-running dispute with London-based Independent II Research (IIIR), a tiny British financial research team, which claims to hold the right to use the trademark.

    Google said it made the switch from Gmail to Google Mail in the UK voluntarily and to avoid "distraction and confusion" for its users. It continues to dispute IIIR’s claims to the trademark and says the name change will not affect the way in which Google Mail users access or send mail.

    However, according to Mike Lynd, a partner at Marks & Clerk, the UK’s largest patent and trade mark law firm, Google "has a real battle on its hands" in gaining the right to use the Gmail trade mark within the European Union because the name was previously registered by a German company – in 2000 – and has also been used by IIIR since 2002. Google launched its e-mail service last year.

    Mr Lynd said that the applications made by IIIR and Google for a Community Trade Mark – a blanket registration of the Gmail trademark across the European Union – would probably be blocked by Giersch Ventures, a company that already holds the rights to the name in Germany.

    Earlier this year, Google lost the right to use Gmail in Germany, following a dispute with the Hamburg-based finance firm. Giersch registered "Gmail – und die Post geht richtig ab." with the German Patent Office five years ago. Following a court injunction awarded by a German court in favour of Giersch earlier this year, Google’s German customers have been using addresses ending

    "Although IIIR, Google and a few hopeful opportunists have all rushed to file a Community Trade Mark for the Gmail mark, Mr Giersch’s existing German registration will undermine all of these applications," Mr Lynd said.

    Meanwhile, IIIR says it launched "G-MailTM web based email" in May 2002 - nearly two years before Google unveiled its own branded e-mail service, known at "GMailTM". IIIR’s version of G-Mail was developed by one of its subsidiaries, Pronet, which specialises in research about the currency markets.

    Mr Lynd said: "IIIR – because of rights acquired as a result simply of its use of the Gmail mark in the United Kingdom since May 2002 – seems likely to end up with the ability to prevent Google from using Gmail in every EU country other than Germany.

    "My advice to Google would be to cut their losses now and to look at re-branding to Google Mail within the whole of Europe. For other companies, it is a salutary lesson in how not to adopt a new trade mark."

    "While Google has successfully built the Gmail brand in the mind of consumers, it will now be forced, as a result of inadequate IP searching and protection, either to give up, or to substantially curb its use, of its brand," he said.

    Users already signed up to Google’s Gmail service can continue to use their addresses as usual, new users signing up from today will be given an address instead.

    and from Google itself:

    The story behind the new "Google Mail" name

    You may have noticed the Google Mail logo. We are changing our service's name in the UK. Starting October 19, 2005, all new accounts will have addresses. Don't worry, though – all messages are being sent and delivered as before.

    Why the name change then?
    We have been involved in a dispute regarding the Gmail trademark in the UK. Another company has claimed rights to the Gmail name. We have tried to resolve this dispute through negotiations, but our efforts have failed.

    We are still working with the courts and trademark office to protect our ability to use the Gmail name, but in the meantime, we want you to have an email address you can rely on.

    The Gmail Team is dedicated to offering the best email service to our users. Our email service stays the same no matter what the logo is or what follows the @ symbol. This change lets our team focus their time on continuing to bring you excellent service.

    What this means for our users
  • Do I need to do anything?
    No. Although the name is changing, your email service remains the same. To sign in, you can go to the same page as before, or you can now also visit:

  • When will you start offering Google Mail accounts? When will this change take place?
    Starting October 19, 2005, the Gmail service will be renamed Google Mail in the UK. We will no longer issue new addresses. All new addresses will be addresses.

  • What if I invite someone? Will they also have to create an address?
    That depends on where your invitation recipients are located. If they are in a country where we issue Gmail accounts, then they will be able to create a Gmail account. But from the UK, you will only be able to send Google Mail invitations. If your recipient is also in the UK, he or she will only be able to create an account.

  • What if I'm a UK user who already has a Gmail address? Will that address ever change?
    Unfortunately, we don't know. We would love to say that your address will always remain the same. But the trademark issue is still unsettled, and unfortunately, we cannot predict what the other party or the courts might do here. You can always use your same username with an address to avoid this issue later on. But trust that we will do the best we can to make sure your email address won't ever have to change.

  • What if I'm a UK user who already has a Gmail address? Will I also need to change that address?
    No, this change doesn’t affect existing Gmail addresses. For now, our plan is only to issue addresses to new users. Trust that we will do the best we can to offer all our users a reliable and consistent email experience.

I wonder if I'll have to change my existing e-mail address in the future...
Click Here to view my aircraft photos at JetPhotos.Net!

  • #2
    Originally posted by Ilbap

    I wonder if I'll have to change my existing e-mail address in the future...
    The articles I read said you wouldn't, it's only for new users. What I don't get is why this doesn't affect American users going forward as we co-operate with the British on trademark/copyright violations?
    Airspaceonline: it's not JetPhotos, but it's still better then


    • #3
      Love gmail. I never have to delete anything. Man, I'm getting bored.


      • #4
        Originally posted by scramjet
        Love gmail. I never have to delete anything. Man, I'm getting bored.
        welcome to my world. All bored. All the time.


        • #5
          Guess I'll update my blog.


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