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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

New legal threat to Google over GMail

Google, the internet search engine, is facing a renewed threat of legal action from a company that claims to own the intellectual property rights to its GMail e-mail service.

Independent International Investment Research, a British company that specialises in research and has several leading City investment banks as clients, argues that it launched "G-MailTM web based email" in May 2002.

IIR's version of G-Mail was developed by one of its subsidiaries, Pronet, which specialises in research about the currency markets for banks and other financial institutions.

The idea was that subscribers to its research could use G-Mail to disseminate it and discuss it over the web confidentially.

The development came nearly two years before Google unveiled its own branded e-mail service, known at "GMailTM".

Google's GMail services give subscribers their own web-based e-mail account with the benefit of vast amounts of storage space.