I too have a first.surname gmail account. I think that at some time, Gmail allowed gmail addresses to be unique with the dot. At least in teh account creation screen. Thus, John.smith@ and JohnSmith were registered.
I have recieved a student in teh states for years. I tried to send him his crap back - but he got nancie - and demanded I surrendered my email address to him! When I told him to get a life- he has for years since registered my email addy with every signup he could find.
It did get him suspended from uni when the report came in that he had been caught bunking off for a college basket ball match - instead of attending an exam. I passed this to him - after I spotted it - though this was after his appeal date.
Nowadays, it cant be done. I created my email addy in the days of the Gmail pilot - so the link below has some clarity on it.