Microsoft may be forced to change the name of its SkyDrive cloud storage service throughout Europe following a recent UK court ruling.
It’s been found that Microsoft’s use of the name SkyDrive infringes on a trademark owned by British Sky Broadcasting – that’s Sky, to us in the UK.
This UK ruling is a bit of a problem for Microsoft, as it threatens the ongoing usage of the SkyDrive brand throughout the whole of Europe. This could mean an expensive and damaging rebranding exercise across one of the world’s major continents.
It may not come to that, though. It’s quite possible that Microsoft, should an appeal prove unsuccessful, will simply dip into its formidably deep pockets and settle the issue with cold hard cash.
You might not think that Europe’s premier TV subscription service and a cloud-based file storage tool would tread on one another’s digital toes too much, but there are evidently sufficient parallels to cause some confusion.
Specifically, Sky has its own mobile apps and an online streaming service that make the use of cloud technology. Sky even operated its own cloud storage service up until 2011.
One piece of evidence submitted was the way in which the two services and their respective apps appear right next to one another when searching for ‘Sky’ on the Xbox 360. Combined with a certain similarity when it comes to the blue and white palette used, it’s easy to see how some conflict exists here.
Microsoft, for its part, has appealed against the ruling on the grounds that there is still no real cause for confusion between the two distinct services.
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