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Google To Offer @gmail Accounts

Millions of Google email users will have the chance to change their address to the shorter @gmail version after the internet giant settled a long-running trademark dispute.

Since late 2005, UK Gmail account users have ended in @googlemail.com while their American counterparts have used the “shorter and snappier” @gmail suffix. Google was forced to use the longer name when a British company Independent International Investment Research claimed it already used the Gmail name in the UK.

“After engaging in legal proceedings at the trademark office, we were able to reach a settlement with the party with whom we had the conflict.  We are happy to have resolved this issue, and look forward to offering @gmail.com addresses to users in the UK,” said a recent Google statement.

Since 2005 the two firms have battled for UK ownership of Gmail and following the undisclosed settlement, thought to be over £250,000, Individual International Investment Research has dropped its claim, allowing Google to introduce shorter email addresses for British users.

“Since ‘gmail’ is 50% fewer characters than ‘googlemail’, we estimate this name change will save approximately 60 million keystrokes a day,” announced Google Software Engineer Greg Bullock.

For those already subscribed to Google’s mailing system, a choice to change their address to @gmail will be offered in the coming weeks.

The trademark settlement means Google has almost complete European branding of Gmail, but a dispute with a German email company means settlements may still be on the horizon for the search engine king pin.