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Microsoft Loses Second Time to Britain’s Sky Broadcasting, Cannot Trademark ‘Skype’ In Europe

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Sky and Skype ? Sound Similar ? Ruling over the lawsuit filed by British origin Sky Broadcasting against Microsoft over the branding and logo of “Skype”, a European court has now withheld trademarking rights from Microsoft, saying that the two names and logos are similar and are certain to create confusion among consumers.

The European court found the name and logo of Skype, the popular internet calling service from Microsoft, too similar to Sky Broadcasting leading to confusion among consumers. It has hence ruled against Microsoft trade marking its popular voice-calling brand in Europe.

The Court has dismissed Skype’s actions and by doing so confirmed that there exists a likelihood of confusion between the figurative and word sign SKYPE and the word mark SKY

said a press release from the General Court of the European Union.

Microsoft is likely to contest the ruling according to a company statement.

This is the second time in less than two years when Microsoft has lost to Sky broadcasting. In July 2013, British court found Microsoft cloud service Skydrive infringing on trademark owned by Sky Broadcasting after which Microsoft had to rename the service to Onedrive in early 2014.

Fortunately for Microsoft, this time it does not have to change the Skype’s name instead, it merely cannot file a trademark registration for the product’s name and logo.

As an MS Spokesperson said,

The case was not a legal challenge to Skype’s use of the mark; it was only against the registration. We’re confident that no confusion exists between these brands and services and will appeal. This decision does not require us to alter product names in any way.

The rivalry between BSkyB and Microsoft dates backs to almost a decade with the British company regularly claiming that the Skype’s branding is way too similar to its brand. However it isn’t just Microsoft which has been a target to BSkyB court cases. In late 2012, BSkyB sued Livescribe for its Sky WIFi Smart pen on grounds of trademark infringement which forced Livescribe to pull the product from its UK store.


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