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Google’s GMail Trademark Challenged In US

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Google hasn’t had much luck in Europe holding on to its Gmail trademark, but we haven’t heard much in the way of a challenge in the US. A petition for cancellation filed at the US Patent and Trademark Office shows that it certainly hasn’t gone unchallenged.

The domain Gmail.com was bought fair and square from a cartoon cat back in 2004, around the same time Google filed for the trademark. They didn’t get, by the way, and still haven’t got, Gmail.net, but that’s a whole other awful story.

The trustees of The Smith Trust, Shane Smith and Karen Griffith, claim (PDF) Google’s ownership of the GMail and G-Mail marks interfere with their use of them for a similar email service. Smith and Griffith claim that they filed for use of the mark four (business) days before Google.

If you can decipher the legalese in the third and fourth sections of the document, it seems to say that Google found a way to beat them at the application game by procuring an earlier application from Precision Research, Inc.

But the petitioners argue that Precision Research falsely claimed the mark was in commercial use at the time of the application, thus negating the application altogether, and Google’s claim to the mark – at least I think that’s what it says; the language is confusing.

And since the USPTO denied them use of the trademark, the petitioners argue damage has been done to their business.

If they have a case – and who knows? It could be another one of those trademark troll cases – then Google could stand to lose Gmail in yet another country.

By the way, Gmail.net is still online, and not owned by Google.

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Google’s GMail Trademark Challenged In US
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