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Google brings @gmail.com back to Blighty

Oogle ousted by trademark settlement

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Google is to offer @gmail.com webmail addresses to British users again, after resolving a long-running branding dispute.

The dominant search engine was forced to switch to the domain @googlemail.com in 2005. It declined to pay Independent International Investment Research £25m to use the gmail brand, describing the cost as "exorbitant".

Google didn't reveal financial details when it announced the settlement this weekend, instead offering some unnecessary drivel about the amount of energy that will be saved by users typing fewer characters.

It said @gmail.com will be made available to UK users over the next week. Those with an @googlemail.com address will be offered the chance to switch if the equivalent @gmail.com address.

The UK wasn't the only market where Google ran into trademark problems over Gmail. In Germany it lost a court case to a firm already providing an email service branded G-mail, which prompted Google to withdraw its service in 2008. ®

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