Gmail v/s Google Mail – The Difference Explained

Google offers its service under two different domains- Gmail.com and Googlemail.com. While a @gmail.com address is most common among users, for people from some countries @googlemail.com address is the only option to use Google’s email service.

What countries are using Google Mail?

Owing to trademark issues, people from three countries – Germany, Poland and Russian Federation can only sign up for @googlemail.com address. The “Gmail” trademark in these three countries is held by either individual or groups.

Despite using all legal methods, Google has been unable to acquire the Gmail trademark in Germany, Poland and Russian Federation. We have very briefly listed the issues that Google faced in each of these countries.

1: Germany – A gentleman by the name of Daniel Giersch runs a company called G-mail ( short for Giersch Mail) that provides offline postal services.  After a few years of battling in court the authorities ruled in favor of Giersch.

 

Update: April 13, 2012:  Google has quietly settled its dispute with Daniel Giersch and Gmail.de domain and related trademarks have been transferred to Google. 

New users signing up for Gmail in Germany will automatically get a GMail.com account. Existing users of Google Mail that would prefer an @gmail.com address, have the option to change to the matching @gmail.com username.To make this change just click “switch to @gmail.com” in the “Accounts” tab in your Gmail Settings (this link will only show up if you’re eligible to change your address).

The change only affects your address. Your account settings, contacts, and existing mail won’t change, and any mail sent to your old @googlemail.com address will automatically be redirected to your new address.

2: Poland – Polish poet group – Grupa Mlodych Artystów i Literatów (abbreviated GMAiL) own the domain gmail.pl and as such have the right to use the name in Poland.

3: Russian Federation: Russian paid mail redirect service – gmail.ru owns the Gmail trademark in Russian Federation.

United Kingdom – Google had a trademark dispute with London based Independent International Investment Research which argued that it had been using the Gmail name for its web mail application two years before Google.

After Google paid Euro 226,324 for intellectual property rights to IIIR, it was able to use the Gmail trademark in United Kingdom.

Every Gmail User has two Gmail Addresses

Surprised?? When a user creates a new Gmail.com account, he actually gets two email addresses. The first one is the regular @gmail.com id while the second one is @googlemail.com id. It is because the domains gmail.com and Googlemail.com are interchangeable.

Both Gmail.com and Googlemail.com point to the same mailbox for a given username. So if you have default address – geek@gmail.com all the mails messages addressed to geek@googlemail.com will also be delivered to the same inbox.

This also means that usernames registered through either of the domains can’t be duplicated.

Default Email – The Only Difference

Depending upon the domain you use to sign up for your email account, your default email address will be different. So if you have signed up at Gmail.com, the “From address” displayed in your Gmail will be username@gmail.com and vice versa.

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