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Gmail Becomes Google Mail in the UK 337

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-thats-just-a-pain dept.
akadruid writes "As of today, UK Gmail users are seeing 'Google Mail' at the top of their Gmail accounts, and Google is warning they may lose their '@gmail.com' addresses in the future. All new signups from the UK will be assigned '@googlemail.com' addresses, and existing accounts will be able to use either domain for now. Gmail's help pages explain this is related to their ongoing dispute regarding the Gmail trademark."
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Gmail Becomes Google Mail in the UK

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  • by danormsby (529805) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @08:44AM (#13825553) Homepage
    So I can pretend I'm not from the UK to avoid the issue? Sure I registered in the UK but I work all over the world. I'm working in Sweden this week. If I leave a proxy running out here and connect through that will I keep my gmail address?

    I didn't know Google even kept a geographical address for my gmail account. Doesn't appear when I search for it!

  • by Spitfire15 (896735) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @08:45AM (#13825571)
    I just went onto Firefox this morning and found out, that it needed an update. I installed it, and just got me loads of mail messages, which were already read. Ouch! I said. So I found out that UK users have a different address than their usual one.
  • by Umuri (897961) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @08:46AM (#13825574)
    Google obviously thinks they are going to win this case or else wouldn't they want to extend googlemail to all sections of the globe? I mean aren't trademarks protected internationally, so someone couldn't just make mickey mouse entertainment somewhere in china? All in all i think it's nothing to worry about, the UK's court systems are a TAD more sane when dealing with common sense issues....
  • by Dan East (318230) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @08:47AM (#13825588) Homepage Journal
    Couldn't they keep the gmail.com addresses, and simply require the users to access them via googlemail.com? So all the UK user would see is someone@googlemail.com, although anyone could still email them them as someone@gmail.com.

    If so this isn't nearly as big an issue at it would seem.

    Dan East
  • by ModernGeek (601932) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @08:48AM (#13825589) Homepage
    What I want to know is what the other party is doing with their trademark. If they built an email service, and had millions of people relying on it, I'd understand, but if the trademark owner isn't doing anything with the name, I'd say give it to google. I hope the court takes into consideration the confusion this will bring to all these people with email addresses, and takes a look at the few, if any people who are currently confused because of the original trademark holder.
  • by FinestLittleSpace (719663) * on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @08:48AM (#13825593)
    AFAIK, you have to register them for each different country 1 by one, but you CAN do blanket policies. something like that...
  • by Motherfucking Shit (636021) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @08:50AM (#13825614) Journal
    Google obviously thinks they are going to win this case or else wouldn't they want to extend googlemail to all sections of the globe?
    They've already done so. Email sent to username@googlemail.com will be delivered to username@gmail.com, regardless of where the account owner lives. If you have an existing GMail account, try sending yourself an email at username@googlemail.com. You'll get the message.

    Anyone who's still unconvinced that this is fully transparent,

    dig mx gmail.com
    dig mx googlemail.com
  • branded addresses (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @08:53AM (#13825638)
    If google would offer a branded email address service, they could stand to make a lot of money. I.E., I would like to see them offer email service for mycompanyurl.com. MX records would have to point to google servers, addresses get masqueraded when people send. Presto, I no longer have to maintain any email infrastructure.

    Of course, companies with confidentiality/privacy concerns might be loath to adopt this; but for others, it could be great.
  • by MCRocker (461060) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @09:10AM (#13825749) Homepage

    If this legal dispute goes Google's way, then they'll probably discontinue the practise of handing out @googlemail.com addresses, but will likely keep existing ones active. As a result, having one of those rare email addresses might actually have some caché amongst the technorati. I'm sure that someone will try to sell an @googlemail.com address for big bucks on eBay.
  • by geoffspear (692508) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @09:11AM (#13825760) Homepage
    Unless a UK court issues a decision against Google that also requires everyone else in the world to switch from the current DNS system to one that will easily allow Google to own the "gmail.com" domain everywhere except the UK and someone else to use it inside the UK, then yes, having them stop using the domain in the UK will probably mean they stop using it everywhere.

    I imagine the change now in the UK has a lot more to do with their right to market their service in the UK as "Gmail", rather than any anticipated future technical problems with using "gmail" in their URL.

    On the other hand, it's been quite some time since they started redirecting any web traffic from gmail.com to mail.google.com, so it is possible they're expecting to lose the domain altogether. But if so, it seems foolish to keep giving non-UK users new gmail.com addresses.

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @09:13AM (#13825773) Homepage
    Show Google filing 6 months before anyone else [patent.gov.uk] in the UK.

    Now, just because they registered first doesn't mean that another company wasn't already using it as a de facto trade mark, but it does occur to me that the value of the mark should be determined by what it was before Google started using it, not what it's worth now. That the other claimant has a total market value of £3.24m ($5.6m) should be an indication that the GMail mark isn't worth "$48m to $64m" as they claim.

  • by mark2003 (632879) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @09:16AM (#13825801)
    Maybe I haven't read this properly but I can't find explicitly stated anywhere that I will be able to keep my username after the change from @gmail to @googlemail - i.e. if I have xyz@gmail.com will they reserve xyz@googlemail.com for me?

    I have a really common name and getting a user name that was remotely like my real name was only possible by getting hold of an invite right at the start. I'll be really pissed off if someone else can swipe it. I've tried opening another account with myname@googlemail.com and it is not available - hopefully this indicates that they have reserved it for me.
  • by dema (103780) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @09:22AM (#13825847) Homepage
    I think spam will likely fill any e-mail address I get...

    That's why you get a domain and create/delete as many emails as you please. I have one primary email that is almost entirely spam free and two or three others that I use when I sign up for "shady" stuff. Not to mention the probably 50 or so I've created and deleted for one time use (:
  • Re:Ouch ... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @09:22AM (#13825850)
    having an @GoogleMail.co.uk in your email address is so much worse than @Yahoo.co.uk...why exactly? Can't you spell Google? Is the Google name not known well enough? Does your email not arrive? Or will changing your email address to a totally different company confuse your contacts less somehow?
  • Some more info (Score:3, Interesting)

    by houghi (78078) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @09:54AM (#13826087)
    on the Beeb: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4354954.stm [bbc.co.uk]

    It also tells about Germany where the same situation is happening and Google already lost. Looks as if Google tries to strangle companies out of their rightfull names and they lost.

    How would you feel is in the message Google was to be replaced by Microsoft and Gmail by Vista?
  • Double-edged sword (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pedestrian crossing (802349) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @10:07AM (#13826197) Homepage Journal

    When I signed up for Hotmail, I entered my country as 'Pakistan', since I didn't think it was Microsoft's business what country I'm from/in. Also, I don't live in the country I'm from, so it's pretty much meaningless anyway.

    But lo and behold, when Hotmail upped their storage to 250MB, my account stayed at 2.5MB (later upped to 25MB). Why? Because I'm not in the USA. Do you think changing my profile to USA upped the limit? Hint - the answer is not yes.

    Yes, I know Hotmail != Gmail, but the point is that initial profile choices can have unintended consequences...

  • by k3s (920880) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @10:17AM (#13826280) Homepage
    Why doesn't google switch from Gmail to Gmail.com?

    Similar to Open Office and OpenOffice.org.

  • by bedroll (806612) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @10:37AM (#13826449) Journal
    It really sounds like you did one of the following:
    1. Used one of the generic addresses that most website administrators have (i.e. webmaster@, administrator@)
    2. Forwarded all mail going to your domain to one address (i.e. *@mydomain.com --> my@email.com)
    3. Whored your email out to every website that asked for it.

    It's my opinion that you have a better chance at avoiding spam by having your own domain. You can set your name in the email to be any random thing you want, so spammers have a much lower chance of figuring it out. More over, you can create new addresses specifically for higher-spam duties. I hardly give out my @mydomain address, especially not to websites, I get no spam and only a few less than welcome newsletters (my laziness, not their fault). However, the webmaster mailbox does get spam, just because any domain will have that happen.

    As someone else pointed out, it's not a bad idea just to forward your @mydomain email to a service like gmail. Then you get the benefit of their spam filtration and interface, but you get the added benefit of owning your email address and controlling it. If gmail closes down tomorrow you simply forward to somewhere else.

  • by quibbler (175041) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @12:00PM (#13827184)
    I wear a white hat, not a black pointy one; There's a huge difference between a megacorp "stomping" a little-guy, and a generally good company, stumbling on a obscure little-used trademark in one country; subsequently trying to do the right thing and buy the domain, etc., and being stifled by the greedy little-guy who's suddenly found themselves holding a platinum piece of virtual real estate and wanting to cash in since the domain just went from 1% to 99.5% of their now-great-with-child balance sheet.

    My original point was not that we need to enable "stomping" of the little guy, but rather recognize that domain names have very different implications (jurisdiction-ignoring technology) than could the framers of trademark laws have ever predicted.

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