Most of the world is familiar with using Gmail, the web-based email service provided by Google. That's not the case in Germany, which has let its citizens use the "Googlemail" name for the service. News.com reports that Google was forced to use "Googlemail" in Germany due to a trademark dispute that began back in 2005.
At that time, a German venture capitalist named Daniel Giersch got his hands on the "G-Mail" trademark" to describe an electronic postal delivery service also known as "Giersch mail". So Google was forced to use "Googlemail" instead of "Gmail" in Germany.
Now a new post on the Gmail UK blog announces that in a few weeks, "Googlemail" will finally turn into "Gmail" in Germany. The post states:
All new accounts will receive an @gmail.com address and if you have an existing @googlemail.com address, you'll soon be able to switch to @gmail.com. Once you make the change, you will still receive mail sent to your @googlemail.com address and all of your emails, contacts, and account settings will stay exactly the same. Plus, you can switch back at any time if you change your mind.
The post doesn't say how Google was able to obtain the Gmail trademark in Germany, although it was apparently transferred to Google in April, according to Google Watch. Google has not commented on the terms of the transfer, including if it paid any money to Giersch for the rights to the Gmail name.