There's More Than One Gmail

Although everyone knows Google's mail service as Gmail, Google lost the right to use this name in Germany and UK last year.

Daniel Giersch has a service called G-mail and he owns the trademark in Germany. His mail system works in a very strange way: 'A sender's document is scanned into Giersch's system at its origin, transmitted electronically to a G-mail office in the destination city, printed out at the other end and hand-delivered to its recipient. Giersch also offers users a 'secure' address, which they can obtain only by verifying their identities with a passport or other official ID card,' reports CNet. Giersch plans to sue Google and defend the registrations of the trademark in Switzerland, Norway and Monaco.

In the UK, Gmail is the private mail service for the customers of the Contensis Content Management System. G-mail has also been used by a research firm Independent International Investment Research (IIIR) for its Web-based e-mail product since May 2002. Google ended the trademark dispute with IIIR in October last year and since then every user from UK has a mail address.

Gmail was also the name of a 'sql based vfolder email system', now defunct. Some of its features included:

* Uses a Mysql database as the datastore. This makes gmail very fast for large volumes of email (eg: more than 20,000 messages).

* Up to 255 vfolder views of the mail store. This is the main feature, the idea is that you keep all your mail in one big folder and approach it from different views (querys). It is a powerful way of approaching email management.

* The vfolder filtering is done via SQL filtering. There is sufficient online help to make writing vfolders easy.

* 'matching' facility where messages that don't get caught by your custom vfolders are put into an 'Inbox' vfolder. A caching mechanism based on this 'matched index' also gives fast speeds. Gmail is very fast for super huge mailing lists. You can now subscribe to linux-kernel and not have your mail client slow down!