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Google rebrands its free GMail web service in the UK

Google voluntarily dropped the Gmail brand in the UK following a trademark dispute with Independent International Investment Research (IIIR) ,who has been using the "G-Mail" name for its Pronet subsidiary's Web-based e-mail product since May 2002.  

Although Google replaced "Gmail" with "googlemail" in Great Britain, a lawsuit is still looming: Shane Smith, chairman and chief executive of Independent II Research, asserts that the dispute about the ownership of the rights to Gmail is by no means over, because Google's decision to change the name of its email services to Google mail relates solely to the UK. IIIR announced it would still pursue Google for damages and that it expected the US search engine to drop Gmail worldwide.

Earlier this year, Google lost the right to use Gmail in Germany, following a dispute with Daniel Giersch, who had registered 'Gmail - und die Post geht richtig ab' with the German Patent Office in 2000.


  • October 19, 2005: Leyden, John, Google loses its G-spot, The Register:
    "A trademark dispute has forced Google to re-brand its Gmail web mail service in the UK. Existing users get to retain their Gmail address (at least for now) but from Wednesday onwards new UK users will be given a Googlemail email address instead."

  • October 19, 2005, Google muss auch englisches Gmail umbenennen, Heise:
    "Auch in England muss Google seinen Freemail-Dienst Gmail nach einem Markenrechtsstreit umbenennen."





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