Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

The Gmail trademark dispute

News.com has an article about Google’s hurdles with applying for a trademark for ‘Gmail’, since at least three other organisations applied for trademarks before it did.
But here’s the crunch factor. Google announced Gmail on April 1st, and went to register the trademark on April 7th. Now, between March 30th and April 7th, 3 other companies requested to register the same trademark. I’m no super-sleuth, but that sounds fishy to me.
I’m sure at least one of those companies tried to register the trademark before Google in the hope that they could get there first and could then sue Google for trademark infringement. Now, according to the article, the trademark office reviews applications sequentially – first come, first served – but hopefully they will take exception here and analyse the motives of these companies for registering the trademark. Google actually has a product available with this name, but it doesn’t seem like the others do.
In any case, let’s see what happens.

One Comment

  1. I think it should depend on if any of the applicants actually have a claim to a trademark. I know there are a couple of products with the same name.
    If I was one of the people with a name of Gmail and Google had come up with Gmail, I would have done everything I could to protect it.
    However, I suspect that there are a few applications that are just people trying to gain the upper hand.
    What was Google thinking applying for a trademark a week after announcing Gmail? That doesn’t make much sense…