Google Drops Gmail Name in Britain

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Due to an ongoing trademark dispute in the United Kingdom, Google has changed the name of its free Web mail service from Gmail to “Google Mail.” The switch was made after the company failed to come to an agreement with financial research company Independent International Investment Research (IIIR).

IIIR offers an e-mail service called G-Mail through its Pronet subsidiary, and owns the trademark for Gmail in the UK. Google said on its Web site that it attempted to resolve the dispute through negotiations, but failed to reach a compromise with IIIR.

“This company has been very focused on a monetary settlement,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. “We went back and forth trying to settle on reasonable terms, but the sums of money this company is demanding are exorbitant.”

From now on, all new users from the UK who sign up with Google will receive an e-mail address ending in @googlemail.com. “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 company said.

The change will not affect existing Gmail users located in the UK, but Google warned that it did not know what the future may hold. “The trademark issue is still unsettled, and unfortunately, we cannot predict what the other party or the courts might do here.”

According to press reports, IIIR values its Gmail trademark at 25 million British pounds.

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