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May 4, 2010

Google Mail Rebranded as Gmail in the UK

Gmail's blog informs that the UK version of Gmail will no longer be called Google Mail and users will have the option change their email addresses from name@googlemail.com to name@gmail.com.


"If you already have a Google email account in the UK, you'll soon have the option to switch your existing @googlemail.com address to the matching @gmail.com one, but you're also free to stick with @googlemail.com. And starting later this week, anybody who signs up for a new account in the UK will get an @gmail.com address."

Gmail has changed its name in the UK 5 years ago. "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," explains a page from 2005.

Financial Times reported last year that "Google paid £226,324 for the intellectual property rights for Gmail to a small UK-based financial research firm, Independent International Investment Research. In October 2005, Google was forced to rename its free webmail service Google Mail in the UK after IIIR claimed first dibs on G-mail for its subscription email newsletter to traders and private investors."

The change was only cosmetic: even if Gmail users in the UK got @googlemail.com addresses, they received all the messages sent to the corresponding @gmail.com address.

After a similar dispute, Gmail has been rebranded as Google Mail in Germany. "The German version of Gmail was first named Gmail Deutschland. Unfortunately for Google, the German company Giersch Ventures had already trademarked G-mail in 2001. The company later filed a lawsuit against Google for trademark infringement. On 4 July 2005 Google announced that Gmail Deutschland would be rebranded Google Mail. From that point forward, visitors originating from a German IP address were forwarded to googlemail.com where they could obtain an email address containing the new domain."

{ Thanks, Daryl. }

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