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19 October, 2005

Google Mail in the UK

It seems another company has claimed prior rights to the Gmail name in the UK, and Google are either concerned that the claim might have legal merit, or legal action to keep the name might become too expensive (in terms of financial cost, time and bad publicity) to pursue.  It's been announced that from today, new Gmail accounts issued in the UK will be '[whatever]@googlemail.com'.

Fair enough, but the first point that concerns me is that if this other company pushes the issue, existing '@gmail.com' addresses might have to be withdrawn; Google hope that won't happen but can't guarantee it. They recommend everyone re-register the '@googlemail.com' varients of their existing account names, just in case.
The second point which concerns me is that the varient of my existing account name, and the four most obvious permutations of it, have already been registered by other people....

Should I expect a cybersquatting problem?

[Update 18:00: I may have misunderstood; see comments. If correct, it means those with existing UK-based '@gmail.com' accounts won't need to re-register, and the reason I can't register the '@googlemail.com' varient of my current address is that it's already reserved for me!]

Comments

Funny. I've been referring to Gmail as "Google Mail" off and on ever since I heard of it.

Posted by Jeffrey Rollin at October 19, 2005 04:51 PM

You'll find yourusername@googlemail.com already works. There's no need to re-register.

Posted by James Cridland at October 19, 2005 05:21 PM

Jeffrey: Yes; the name change wouldn't be a big deal if it didn't mean thousands of e-mail addresses might be invalidated!

James: Are you sure? So '@gmail.com' and '@googlemail.com' are aliases of one [myname] account?

That would mean an e-mail sent to '[myname]@googlemail.com' would appear in my [myname] inbox. I've just tested that and, unless there's a delay in the system, it hasn't appeared yet.

Or do you mean that if Google have to abandon the '@gmail.com' addresses in the UK, I'll automatically receive '[myname]@googlemail.com'? Now you mention it, that does make sense, but can you point me to somewhere which confirms that's the case? Thanks.

Posted by NRT at October 19, 2005 05:26 PM
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