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New Legal Threat To GMail

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the stuff-you-can't-make-up dept.

Google 526

wellington writes "Google is facing a renewed threat of legal action from a company that claims to own the intellectual property rights to its GMail e-mail service. Independent International Investment Research, a British company that specialises in research and has several leading City investment banks as clients, argues that it launched "G-Mail web based email" in May 2002."

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G-Mail? (1)

jmazzi (869663) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546509)

G-Mail..close one. i thought they were gonna say GMail

Re:G-Mail? (3, Funny)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546602)

Gmail and G-mail are too similar to be separate trademarks. Fortunatly for Google, a trademark is only valid in a specific domain, and Google have never tried to trademark the term Gmail for a stupid mail-based service that no-one would want, so they should be safe.

Yeah, but... (5, Funny)

killmenow (184444) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546513)

Google's is called GMail BETA

Re:Yeah, but... (1, Interesting)

Rabid_Llama (873072) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546547)

not anymore

Re:Yeah, but... (1)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546560)

I just checked, and my GMail account still says "Gmail by Google BETA".

Re:Yeah, but... (1)

JPriest (547211) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546702)

How much good does it really do to have a trademark on "Gmail" if they don't own the domain?

I think instead of buying domains I think will be popular, I am going to trademark the names and sue the companies that buy the domians.

This could be an ausome scam, you could even let your existing domain expire, and when someone grabs it, sue them. Profit!

G? (5, Funny)

SuperJason (726019) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546517)

So they claim that they own the G?

Re:G? (1)

Stone Cold Troll (894857) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546625)

Yup; they claim ownership of the trademark to the name "GMail". Hardly a claim to "own the intellectual property rights to [the] gmail service" as said above. If Google loses, they'll just rename GMail to GoogleMail. BFD.

Obligatory Simpsons quote (4, Funny)

wootest (694923) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546633)

'Nobody snuggles with Max Power. You strap yourself in and feel the "G"s!'

Re:G-? (1)

henrygb (668225) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546680)

Actually they were G-MailTM while Google use GMailTM. So it is all in a hyphen. But note the TM rather than ®, which makes the case a little harder.

Fight Google? (2, Interesting)

linuxinit (902010) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546520)

Ha! As much as I'd love to root for the little guy... I don't think they can fight Google... :( Google is getting pretty big lately. I can't help but wonder about some of the rumours that I've heard...

Re:Fight Google? (2, Funny)

MisterMurphy (899535) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546650)

About the babies and the fell, wicked ceremonies?

It is all true.

Re:Fight Google? (1)

linuxinit (902010) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546683)

I KNEW IT!!! ;-)

Fair's fair... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13546521)

Google should give them 50% of the profits from GMail.

Let's see, a free email service generating $0 profit. 50% of $0 equals $0.

Settled.

Re:Fair's fair... (5, Insightful)

Professeur Shadoko (230027) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546552)

zero ?

and what about the ads ?

free != zero-profit.

Re:Fair's fair... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13546763)

maybe gmail should remain free and advertisement free as well.

Re:Fair's fair... (2, Interesting)

porksoda (253218) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546579)

Let's see, a free email service generating $0 profit. 50% of $0 equals $0

you kidding me? those AdSense things generate what people in the biz refer to as a shitload of cash simply due to the sheer volume of people seeing them (and it helps that they're targeted to what your mail's about). sure, it's a free service but it's not like they're losing money on it or something.

Re:Fair's fair... (2, Funny)

Patrik_AKA_RedX (624423) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546598)

yeah, but to be fair they should pay half of the expenses too.

Re:Fair's fair... (1)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546666)

are you the stupidest person on the internet?

no... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13546525)

I was first...

GMail is in deep trouble (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13546526)

First rule about Slashdot is you do not talk about dupes on Slashdot. Second rule about Slashdot is you DO NOT talk about dupes on Slashdot. Third rule about Slashdot is someone yells Dupe!, points out a dupe, or comments on a dupe, story is over. Forth rule: Two editors to a dupe. Fifth rule: One dupe at a time users. Sixth rule: No search, no Google. Seventh rule: Stories get duped as long as they have to. And the eighth and final rule: if this is your first night at Slashdot, you have to dupe.

Re:GMail is in deep trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13546593)

...and I stood their crying between those two giant servers that stood enormous, the way you think of Gods as big.

regardless (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13546529)

Al Gore is gonna sue both of these motherfuckers for infringing on his internet.

Already done (5, Funny)

Dopefish (33181) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546535)

I've actually already patented the use of single letters in front of "Mail", so they're both screwing me over.

AMAil
BMail
CMail
DMail
etc.

ALL MINE!

Yeah, I'm Amazon.com. This whole "Dopefish" thing is just an alias.....

Re:Already done (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546729)

Ah, but "EMail" is an existing term (does capitalization count). And Apple already patented (sic) the use of the letter "i" in front of all words; good luck with that one.

Intellectual property rights to GMail? (5, Insightful)

Itchy Rich (818896) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546537)

Surely this is just trademark infringment at most. The summary seems to infer that general IP rights to the service are involved, rather than just the name.

That's what they're claiming ... (2, Informative)

Augusto (12068) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546606)

... the summary is correct, they're claiming:

"IIR, led by chairman and chief executive Shane Smith, accused the search engine of "failing to respect the intellectual property rights of others" and said it had no alternative but to pursue an expensive legal action that it admitted it could ill afford."

"I feel it is up to me as the founder and the major shareholder. We're not going to sit on the sidelines while a company uses our intellectual property rights," he said. "We're confident that we have the funding available to us and we're girding our loins," he said."

It's silly, but the summary is correct.

Re:That's what they're claiming ... (2, Informative)

ptomblin (1378) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546750)

The summary is correct in that this is what the CEO is saying. The CEO is using "intellectual property" in the broadest sense - this is a trademark issue.

Re:Intellectual property rights to GMail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13546748)

To appear intellectual, call yourself G-Itchy Rich

Why so long (-1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546541)

Why do companies end up waiting so long before coming out with stuff like this. They should have a 6 month grace period to file claims on trademarks/patents/copyrights. If they don't make a complaint in such a long time, especially when it's obvious that GMail (Google version) existed. It's not like they were hiding it. Obviously they are just after money.

Re:Why so long (1)

HardCase (14757) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546557)

They claim to have been in negotiations with Google for 15 months. You must have missed that part of the article.

-h-

Re:Why so long (5, Informative)

Enigma_Man (756516) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546563)

If you RTFA, you will see that the company is a small company, and was involved in communication with google over the span of 15 months or so, before jumping right into litigation. That sounds like the right thing to do, IMO, rather than just sue immediately. The company is a small one, and they say they don't have the big money that Google has to bring a law suit just to protect their name.

-Jesse

Re:Why so long (0)

Professeur Shadoko (230027) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546589)

You obviously did not read tfa.
(I did, shame on me)

There have been talks and negociations between this company and Google for over 15 months, they claim.
But they could not settle on an agreement.

Re:Why so long (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546609)

Why do companies end up waiting so long before coming out with stuff like this

I guess you didn't RTFA. The article said they have been talking with Google about this for 15months. From Wikipedia:

Gmail's initial release on 31 March 2004
Oh the hide of them. They waited less then a month before initiating talks with Google! How dare they wait so long.

Or would you have rathered they began sueing after 6months, and let the talks be damned?

Re:Why so long (2, Informative)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546653)

A careful review of the full article reveals that the company attempted to resolve this with Google out of the courts over 15 months ago. In the business world it is the responsibility of the newcomer, not the existing business, to conduct a name search when launching a new product or service, so as to avoide disputes like the one described here. Google may have conducted such a search, but may have felt that its service was sufficiently unique so that its use of the name "Gmail" would not cause confusion in the marketplace. The courts generally hold that other businesses can use the same name if 1) the newcomer is not trying to leverage (claim) the reputation or the name of other existing businesses, and 2) the new business is in a different sector than the existing business so there will be no brand confusion. For example, the courts would generally disallow another restaurant from claiming the name "McDonalds", but they probably would allow an antique store named "McDonalds", providing the antique store doesn't try to piggyback on the hamburger chain's image (by using, for example, golden arches in its logo).

earlier usage (0)

kaden (535652) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546542)

All of which is in blatent violation of Dr. Dre's 1994 trademark "Ain't Nothing but a G-Mail"

google's future (-1, Redundant)

ramirez60 (641371) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546544)

Is this a sign of things to come for Google? Are they truly, as being threatened, going to become the next Microsoft? This lawsuit just seems silly, and it's not even an American Company? Not to say anything about Americans, I am american, well I was raised here, I consider myself American, and we like to sue people.

Re:google's future (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546645)

This lawsuit just seems silly

That's how trademarks work. From Wikipedia:
trademarks remain valid as long as the owner actively uses and defends them
They applied for a trademark, they received it. They must now defend it, or otherwise they shouldn't have applied for it in the first place.

Intellectual Property laws: helping encourage innovation of adding a G and a dash to a word.

Re:google's future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13546767)

They didn't apply and don't need to apply - it is a 'tm' not an (r). So all they must do is show prior usage and voila it should be as simple as that...

Attack ONE! (5, Funny)

screevo (701820) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546545)

Steve Ballmer hires a minion to launch the first volley in the Internet War of 2005

What would Bill Gates do if he ran Google? (0)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546546)

"Buy'em out, boys!!!"

Sounds legitimate (5, Insightful)

brucmack (572780) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546548)

Sounds like they have a legitimate claim here... They did launch a web-based email service called GMail well before Google. The fact that they've been negotiating with Google for the past 15 months would indicate that they also brought their claim to Google early on. I wonder why Google hasn't just paid them to license the name? Wouldn't they rather use some of their excess money reserves than risk a tarnished name?

Re:Sounds legitimate (1)

timle (890873) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546570)

from the article:
estimated a "conservative" value of between £25 million and £34 million for a royalty claim against Google for the G-Mail trademark.

For "email" with a 'g' instead of an 'e'. I mean come this is quite excessive.

Re:Sounds legitimate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13546698)

For "email" with a 'g' instead of an 'e'. I mean come this is quite excessive.

*cough*Lindows*cough*

Re:Sounds legitimate (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546670)

I wonder why Google hasn't just paid them to license the name?

It's a frikken G and a dash. The fact that Google would have to pay a company to use a G is just ridiculousness.

This just highlights the ridiculousness that can be trademark laws.

Re:Sounds legitimate (1, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546679)

Actually there service is G-Mail not GMail.
And the service is specific to the currency trading business. There is almost no overlap and the names are different. Yes it is by one character but when you only have five to start with that is significant.
Frankly if the trademarks are not identical then I would say no case. But then Microsoft somehow has convinced people that they invented using "windows" in a GUI. I wonder when they will sue X-Windows?
After all X-Windows is a lot closer to Windows than Lindows was.

Re:Sounds legitimate (5, Informative)

kubrick (27291) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546745)

It's the X Window System [x.org] , not X-Windows as you claim.

Re:Sounds legitimate (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13546761)

Actually, it sounds like they have a questionable claim here. I do not claim to be a European trademark attorney, however, if you look at the U.S. record system:

TESS S/N 78395931 for the word mark "gmail" is held by the Trustees of the Smith Trust Shane Smith and Karen Griffith, both citizens of the United Kingdom. The registration application was filed on April 3, 2004 and claims a first use in commerce of 20020528 (May 28, 2005).

TESS S/N 78395746 for the word mark "gmail" is held by Google. The registration application was filed on April 2, 2004 and claims a first use in commerce of 19980120 (Jan 20, 1998).

Interestingly TESS S/N 75629087 for the typed drawing "gmail" used to be held by a man named Milo Cripps. The registration application was filed on January 28, 1999 and claims a first use in commerce of 19980120 (Jan 20, 1998).

Neat coincidence. The records indicate that the mark was abandoned on Feb 18, 2000, but that does not necessarily mean that the applicant abandoned USE of the mark. Without knowing more, I cannot evaluate the claim. However, Google could very well have bought out Mr. Cripps business sometime prior to launching gmail, in which case their trademark priority will relate back to Mr. Cripps usage, which predates IIIR's usage.

Warning: link to TESS search [uspto.gov] , which may not work if it's dependent on a session variable.

Aaarrgggh! (5, Informative)

gowen (141411) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546549)

intellectual property rights to its GMail e-mail service.
Look, if you keep using the catch-all phrase "Intellectual Property" to cover distinct ideas, no one will ever get smart about the differences. This is about a trade mark "GMail" -- only the *name* is the important thing here.

And they did register that trademark long in advance of Google.

Re:Aaarrgggh! (1)

Arker (91948) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546629)

Yes, this 'IP' nonsense is invariably a sign of someone that either doesn't understand what they're talking about, or doesn't want YOU to understand what they're talking about (or possibly both.)

As to them registering their trademark first, that's true. However, that's not the end of the story. The trademarks are not identical - googles is 'Gmail' while theirs is 'G-Mail.' Gmail is a rather obvious abbreviation for 'Google Mail.' Their trademark is apparently UK only, and it doesn't sound like they've done much with it, in fact it's not clear from TFA they've done anything with it. I don't see how anyone could take seriously the idea that google is profitting from the other guys brand-identity (what trademark is supposed to protect.) Who had even heard of their trademark before this? At most a handful of their subscribers, who presumably are not going to be suddenly confused as to which is which.

IANAL, but google has some very good ones, and I'm sure they would have agreed to royalty payments if they didn't think they could win the court case pretty easily.

Re:Aaarrgggh! (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546709)

The trademarks are not identical - googles is 'Gmail' while theirs is 'G-Mail.'
try marketing your Micro-soft operating system and see how long that "but we had a hyphen!" argument holds up.
Who had even heard of their trademark before this?
Doesn't matter. The Firebird database is a niche item, but they'd still have won a trademark case with Mozilla Firebird.

And, frankly, I'm glad, because if large corporations could run round appropriating trademarks on the basis that their present owners are too insignificant to count. There's already enough "might makes right" built into the legal system.

Incidentally, I don't know if this is the same elsewhere, but in the UK gmail.com redirects you to mail.google.com, so it's clear they're already avoiding the gmail name here...

Once again ... (1)

Augusto (12068) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546749)

It's the original article and the person suing google saying google is violating their intellectual property, why are people complaining that slashdot reflected that?!?!

A case of too little too late? (-1, Redundant)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546551)

Could this be a case of too little too late? I think so - but I'm no lawyer either. Why has this company taken more than a year to lay claim as they are doing now? Or is it that I have been living under some rock?

Re:A case of too little too late? (1, Insightful)

HardCase (14757) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546599)

The article isn't that long. Read it.

Re:A case of too little too late? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13546610)

They've been in negotiations with Google for 15 months, they most certainly have not been waiting.

Vague Summary (5, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546553)

Wow, yet another vague summary, that can definitely be misleading. Having first read the summary, I thought it was about a company claiming to have created the code and/or services of Gmail only to have google steal it. But no, the company is merely sueing for trademark infringement. Way to go slashdot! The word "TRADEMARK" could have been mentioned somewhere in the article, would have cleared it up a tiny bit. But I guess Slashdot gets more pageviews (and ad views) by confusing its readers.

well... (1)

rainmayun (842754) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546615)

the word "trademark" DID appear, albeit in the last paragraph of the article. definitely vague and misleading, not sure if it was deliberate.

I tend to think the use of the phrase "intellectual property" should be banned anyway. Just say copyright, trademark, or patent. They aren't all the same thing, and pooling them under the "IP" umbrella does not serve to further anyone's understanding.

Re:well... (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546711)

the word "trademark" DID appear, albeit in the last paragraph of the article.

I was talking about the one paragraph slashdot summary ;)

RTFA! (1)

Augusto (12068) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546720)

They're claiming violation of their "intellectual property". In this case, complain to the author of the original article, and/or the guy initiating the lawsuit!

Or maybe read the article next time.

Re:Vague Summary (2, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546738)

No, it's all intellectual property. We have to use the word property, it's very important. Otherwise, how can we legitimately claim 'piracy' and 'stealing' if it's not property?

Personally, I think the editors should put their money where their mouth is and summararily reject any story that uses the words 'intellectual property' in the article blurb.

rumors (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13546555)

I heard that Google is planning on calling it's personalized homepage GSpot...

Re:rumors (5, Funny)

earthloop (449575) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546692)

They wouldn't do that. Nobody would be able to find it!

The company is "frustrated" with Google's behavior (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13546569)

yeah, frustrated that Google won't fork over millions. :)

Two letters (2, Insightful)

slapout (93640) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546574)

Why doesn't google just cough up another letter and call it "GoMail"? Or if that's taken "GoogMail", etc.

Re:Two letters (2, Insightful)

DarkFencer (260473) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546614)

What would that do to all the people with @gmail.com addresses? Yeah, people can change it but for that many users it would be a royal PITA.

Re:Two letters (3, Insightful)

slapout (93640) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546728)

Good point. I wonder why the other company didn't register the gmail.com domain.

Re:Two letters (1)

ExKoopaTroopa (671002) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546737)

please mod parent up, you can suggest renaming GooMail or whatever but the real problem is "What would that do to all the people with @gmail.com addresses?"

Re:Two letters (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546751)

What would that do to all the people with @gmail.com addresses? Yeah, people can change it but for that many users it would be a royal PITA.

That's what happens for using a beta service. It is in beta for a reason (and more then just google loving to claim everything is in beta).

Re:Two letters (1)

digidave (259925) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546627)

It's called 'Gmail by Google', not just 'Gmail'.

Gmail? Where? (1, Funny)

alexandreracine (859693) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546585)

So, why is it that I never heard of that gmail before google lauch the gmail service? They made a webpage on geocities?

'Intellectual property' (4, Informative)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546586)

The summary for this story is another good example of why the phrase 'intellectual property' should be avoided [gnu.org] .

The company does not 'claim to own the intellectual property to GMail'. It has a trademark claim. This is completely different and unrelated to any copyright interest, patent held, or trade secret. Lumping them all together as 'intellectual property' which can then be 'infringed' in some vague way just muddies the issue.

Actually, they are claiming IP violation. (1)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546756)

The company does not 'claim to own the intellectual property to GMail'. It has a trademark claim.

If you thought the summary is confusing, you should read the article and the claims therein. The company is asserting that Google is violationg their intellectual property rights. From TFA:

"We're not going to sit on the sidelines while a company uses our intellectual property rights," he said.

Simple case of a small company seeing a company with deep pockets and attempting to hold them hostage.

Zonk in Blair memo scandal (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13546587)

Aljazeera

Homosexual rights adviser to Prime Minister Tony Blair, Zonk [slashdot.org] was criticized this weekend by Jewish groups outraged by his latest revelations.

Zonk, in a confidential memo uncovered by The News of the World claimed that the Prime Minister was manipulated by Zionist Jewish Freemasons to go to war in Iraq.

The leaked memo was immediately condemned by ADL leader Abraham Foxman who said "This compounds Zonk's earlier bigotry and dangerous extremism with regards Jewish affairs"

Foxman went on, "This is completely unacceptable"

However Zonk confronted his critics in a morning press conference where he said,

"We must tackle, head on, the twisted Zionist plot and campaign for modern concepts of homosexuality"

Zonk was also criticized earlier this month by Jewish groups furious at his proposals to rename Holocaust Day , "Peter Tatchell awareness 24 hours" [voiceoftheturtle.org] ; the term "day" being deemed homophobic by Zonk and other activists as it sounds like "Gay".

However, the move was cautiously welcomed by SLOJOE, The Secret Lesbian Organization of Jihad Organization of Europe who said "This could be a very positive step forward for ugly lesbians and Gay Niggers around the world".

SLOJOE is expected to hold talks with the GNAA later this month and issue a joint statement on a number of key issues.

From TFA... (5, Insightful)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546594)

He [Mr. Smith] said he was "reluctantly" considering taking legal action against Google, which could involve his family trust selling shares in the group to fund the claim.

"I feel it is up to me as the founder and the major shareholder. We're not going to sit on the sidelines while a company uses our intellectual property rights," he said. "We're confident that we have the funding available to us and we're girding our loins," he said.

As much as they may have a case, I always find the "we don't want to, but they are forcing us" argument funny. Not because of the company itself, but because I can imagine some IP lawyers saying, "Yesss! They are being forccced to! Hisss!" as their forked tongues flick from their mouths and they rub thier greedy paws together with reptilian glint in their eyes.

Re:From TFA... (3, Insightful)

PhysicsPhil (880677) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546740)

As much as they may have a case, I always find the "we don't want to, but they are forcing us" argument funny. Not because of the company itself, but because I can imagine some IP lawyers saying, "Yesss! They are being forccced to! Hisss!" as their forked tongues flick from their mouths and they rub thier greedy paws together with reptilian glint in their eyes.

One of the problems with owning a trademark is that you must defend it or lose it. Unlike copyright, trademarks can be invalidated in court if they become diluted through other people using it. If these guys want to continue to have rights to the GMail trademark, they are forced to litigate.

Re:From TFA... (1)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546762)

Actually, US trademark law requires them to protect their mark or lose it. So yea, Google has forced them to file the lawsuit.

Re:From TFA... (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546769)

Actually, with trademarks, aren't you legally required to pursue infringment, or else you'll lose your ownership?

It sound to me like this company was doing due diligence, and Google figured they could just ignore them. Google cannot go around pretending like they own the letter G, if they want to affix it in front of everything that they do, they're going to need to be careful. And if they're going to actually be a "not evil" corporation like they said they were, they're going to have to be respectful.

Change to GoogleMail? (2, Interesting)

Sp00nMan (199816) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546596)

Why doesn't Google just change the name from "Gmail" to "GoogleMail". They already have the domain for googlemail.com, and I think it would be a better branding option anyways.

Re:Change to GoogleMail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13546665)

Probably because Gmail is easier to say (and shorter) than GoogleEmail. Why make it longer than it needs to be?

Re:Change to GoogleMail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13546695)

They should change it to G-G-G-G-G-G-G-G-G-MAIL! and get 50 on board

Follow the money... (0, Offtopic)

blcamp (211756) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546597)


I have to wonder if one of the plaintiffs clients is Amazon.com and/or Jeff Bezos.

I don't see how these guys are going to get anything other than some $TFU money... if even that. Google has deep enough pockets right now to brush back anyone that steps up to them. Look at how they are going toe-to-toe against Microsoft in the poaching case.

It's silly for them to try and pursue this. It is no less silly, IMHO, than if I were to try and challenge God Almighty by claiming the digital rights to sunshine.

slashdot news latency (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13546605)

Whats the deal with the "news latency" on Slashdot?

They're getting worse at picking up on breaking news: http://www.feedsfarm.com/s/r/google+gmail+court [feedsfarm.com] :(

Dialogue ala Happy Gilmore (0)

suso (153703) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546616)

Google: I eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast
IIIR: Heh, you eat pieces of shit for breakfast?
Google: uh, NO!

Let's be specific (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13546617)

Is it gmail, Gmail, G-Mail, Gee-Mail, or what? You know, those things really do matter. By the way, I'm sure you'll find Ballmer's hands in on accelerating this somewhere. ;)

These weirdoes claim "intellectual property" for adding a letter to the front of some noun? It's such a sad day for the intellect.

gmail.com (5, Insightful)

bookemdano63 (261600) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546624)

But they never bother spending the $10 to register gmail.com?

Its my idea (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546639)

I thought of GMail a while back too....Google needs to send me some of its profits from this service.

I smell FISH (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13546642)

What reason did this company have for naming it "gmail?" Where's the "G" in their company?

You can't copyright a letter. Perhaps TFA was in error; it certainly wasn't very clear.

I wish people would stop talking about "IP." Intelectual "property" is not property. If you're talking about a copyright infringement, don't say "my IP rights were violated," say "my copyright was infringed.

I'm talking to those of you who are journalists or think you are. Er, wasn't there a /. article about how journalists are ignorant fucktards just yesterday?

This sounds like a trademark issue. Did this company register the trademark with Germany or the EU? Yes? Then case closed, rule in the little guy's favor. No? Then case closed, Google wins.

But again, why did they want "gmail" and why does it matter to them? It smells like they're looking for a little publicity. I hope Google crushes them like the cockroach they appear to be.

See how STUPID this is? (2, Insightful)

symbolic (11752) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546644)

Google, the internet search engine, is facing a renewed threat of legal action from a company that claims to own the intellectual property rights to its GMail e-mail service.

Is it just me, or is there something particularly novel and innovative about a browser-based e-mail service? Or, is there something particularly stupid about a company laying claims to this idea as its "intellectual property?" None of the concepts are particularly new.

In other news. (2, Funny)

LightningBolt! (664763) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546651)

Google's new online banking service, known as "gmoney BETA", has become another legal battle. [artistdirect.com] .

A sign of success (1)

MarkWatson (189759) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546654)

.. is that people sue you. I do wonder why Google did not try a little harder to settle after their problems with the lawsuit in Germany.

I have been using GMail for 18 months - I hope that they do not have to change the gmail.com domain name - that would be a nuisance.

Hmm, nonsense! (1)

jemnery (562697) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546675)

So why didn't these guys register the relevant domain names and common variants then? Sounds like a pretty obvious step in created a web-based email system to me...!

"Reluctant" legal action my arse; they're just hoping Google will settle out of court.

GoatMail (1)

Kuku_monroe (753761) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546678)

My Goat also owns Gmail!

Realistic Article Summary (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546686)

A UK company have registered the trademark GMail before Googles mail service was produced.

This company held discussions with Google as to how much Google should pay them.

Google said it is willing to settle but not for the amount the UK company is asking.

Their is another German company in a similar disupte with which the UK company is thinking of joining with in joint legal action against Google.

Analysts say the UK firm could be asking as much as £35 Million pounds for their trademark.

Stupid issues (3, Interesting)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546703)

If a trademark is worthy of a multi million dollar claim, then it should be higher in the search engine listings than the news about the lawsuit.

It just feels wrong otherwise.

Sounds like bull (2, Insightful)

Tassach (137772) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546704)

If these folks had 'gmail' as a legitimate trademark for an actual product or service (not vaporware), why then did they not register the domain names for their alleged trademark? Registering "gmail" in every top-level domain for 10 years would have cost them less than $1000. If they actually had a legitimate business plan to launch a "gmail" service, securing the domains would have been the FIRST thing they would have done. Failing to register the domains, while trademarking a non-existant "service" smells of submarine tactics and demonstrates bad faith. Their failure to secure thier trademark by registering the domains also demonstrates criminal negligence on their part and is grounds for a shareholder lawsuit. Dollars to doughnuts says their business plan was "wait until someone with money grabs the gmail domains and does something with them, then sue them for everything we can get"

How come they never registered gmail.com? (1)

tintub (733763) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546710)

nor g-mail.com, which is also owned by google. they must be kicking themselves! :D

What!?! (5, Funny)

ifwm (687373) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546716)

"We're not going to sit on the sidelines while a company uses our intellectual property rights"

Has anyone even heard of these idiots?

YOU PUT A G IN FRONT OF MAIL.

Don't try to act like it's the light bulb, you snaggletoothed limey.

In the credits at the end of the lawsuit... (5, Funny)

mikael (484) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546743)

This lawsuit has been brought to the attention of your lawyers by the letter G, and the numbers 0 and 5.

I'm getting sooo tired (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 9 years ago | (#13546759)

This is evidently a way to just mess things up. The name GMail isn't at a very high artistic level and seems to be just a simple label. I think that it is necessary to require fair uniqueness on a trademark so that you trademark names has to have a quality to them.

Save us from stupid conflicts and focus on more important things like development and quality.

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