cybershark has reported in our Back Page News that Google, after its Gmail debut, does not hold legal rights to the trademark, yet.
Normally, the registrations for trademarks are handled in a "first come, first served" basis and in this case, Google is in fact, the fourth in line. Who gets it first? Cencourse, a Miami company that provides multimedia services has filed the application on the same day that Google spilled the beans on Gmail.
The first applicant, Cencourse, filed the application on March 31st. Precision Research jumped in on April the 2nd, following by the British market research firm, Independent International Investment Research (IIIR) who filed the application on the next day. Google didn't make a move until April 7th.
IIIR is the only company out of the three that contacted Google about the dispute. The company's CEO admitted to operating a service with similar name since 2002 and filed the application after hearing about Google's service.
"Having invested in making our target market aware of our service, we wish to avoid the confusion that would inevitably arise if a much, much larger firm were to brand its service indistinguishably from our own," he said.
It is likely that the dispute will be heading to court where Google's attorney holds confidence in victory. One could only imagine why the trademark ownership hasn't been taken cared off before the service gets announced.