UPDATE: it appears that I got the new “Google Mail” logo because for some reasons Google maps my IP address to Germany, and so I got the German branding. I still think it would make sense for them to switch to a branding they can use anywhere, and thus get rid of the Gmail name. When, is anyone’s guess.
Now that Google changed the logo in my webmail client, I think we can say that Gmail is close to disappearing from Google’s (European) pages. They’re replacing it everywhere with the even less sexy “Google Mail”.
This might be due to the following legal hassle Google has in Europe:
The latest legal developments arrive just weeks after a European Union trademark office denied Google the rights to register the Gmail name across all of its member countries. Company representatives maintain that the EU ruling has no effect on its use of the trademark Gmail in countries other than Germany and the U.K. and that user experiences will be the same regardless of the service’s name.
They use the URL http://mail.google.com (no longer gmail.com or gmail.google.com) and on the welcome page there is no mentioning anymore of any “Gmail”. On the Google product overview page it’s still Gmail. Same thing for Google Talk: I see hardly any mention on “Gtalk” anymore.