Skype – a cloud in the Sky?
Thursday 7th May 2015
An EU court has recently ruled that the name of the video chat software, Skype, is so similar to the broadcaster Sky that the public is likely to confuse the two.
Judges at the General Court of the European Union concluded that confusion could be caused because of ‘Sky’ being within the word ‘Skype’. It also held that Skype’s logo looks like a cloud, yet clouds are found in the sky and so are more readily associated with the word ‘sky’. The judgment prevents Microsoft from registering a trademark for Skype’s name and bubble-design logo.
This is not the first time that Microsoft and the British Sky Broadcasting Group (‘BskyB’) have come to blows. Following a decision by the High Court in June 2013 that Microsoft’s SkyDrive product infringed a trademark owned by BskyB, Microsoft were forced to rebrand their product to OneDrive.
Microsoft maintain that this latest case is not a legal challenge to Skype’s use of the trademark and are not facing the prospect of having to rebrand the product. It does, however, raise the question of whether Skype can protect its own branding and logo against anyone else trying to call their product Skype.
Click here to view the BBC News article.