updated 11/23/2005 6:01:47 PM ET 2005-11-23T23:01:47

The election of a woman as Germany's chancellor presented government techies with an immediate challenge.

With gender-based spellings in German, the chancellor's Web site could no longer be bundeskanzler.de. Angela Merkel's official title is "Bundeskanzlerin," with the feminine ending "-in" — but bundeskanzlerin.de was already taken.

Now it appears the owner of the feminine version is willing to cede it.

On the bundeskanzlerin.de Web site was an announcement that its owner, Lars M. Heitmueller, had registered it in 1998 to "hold in trust" until a woman got the job and he could officially turn them over. Merkel took power Tuesday as Germany's first female chancellor.

For now, the official chancellor Web site, complete with photos of the new leader and details of her career, appears at the slightly unwieldy bundeskanzlerin.bundesregierung.de. And former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's bundeskanzler.de site automatically sends surfers to Merkel's new site.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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