Google may be defensive of its brand, but, it appears that Google is not has driven to protect its Gmail brand. Recently, the search engine went on a buying binge for domains that resembled the Google brand name. However, it appears that they forgot, or didn't care, to do the same for Gmail.
The timesonline.co.uk reported another company has claimed the rights to the Gmail.co.uk domain. The article does not reveal the name of the company.
However, WebProNews recently reported on a trademark dispute with a British company named The Market Age concerning the ownership of Gmail. The company claimed they had secured the rights to "Gmail" in June of 2002.
Regardless of whoever owns the trademark rights to Gmail, one thing is certain. If you type the name "Gmail.co.uk" into your browser, the landing page you are taken to is not one associated with Google's email service. Visitors see a form that invites users to enter their name and password. Where they are taken from there is anyone's guess.
The Times Online believes this form is an effective method to collect usernames and passwords from unsuspecting Google Gmail members. There is no registration link or any company information featured on the home page, merely the sign in form.
The company who has ownership of the domain has received offers to sell the rights, although none were from Google. They have, up until now, declined to sell the rights, stating, "[l]uckily, we're honourable people." If that is the case, one wonders why their homepage has no other information besides a sign in form.
Gmail.co.uk also doesn't have properly filled out title tags in place. The landing page sports the "Untitled Document" title.
Another item of interest concerns typing Gmail.co.uk into the browser window. If you precede the address with a "www.", users are taken to the login page. However, if you leave it off, visitors are taken to the homepage of the company Contensis. Could this group be the owners of the Gmail domain in the UK?
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