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Skype is too similar to Sky says EU court


Skype logo

An EU court has ruled that Skype's name and logo is too similar to that of broadcaster Sky's.

According to the court's findings, the public is likely to be confused between the two distinct brands and services.

"Conceptually, the figurative element conveys no concept, except perhaps that of a cloud," said judges at the General Court of the European Union.

The court added that this "would further increase the likelihood of the element 'Sky' being recognised within the word element 'Skype', for clouds are to be found 'in the sky' and thus may readily be associated with the word 'sky'."

This will be a major blow for Microsoft, the owner of Skype, which was challenging the findings of an earlier ruling.

Indeed, Microsoft will be sick of the sight of the broadcaster. The two companies fell into conflict over a similar dispute concerning Microsoft's SkyDrive cloud storage service. The outcome of that case was similar to this one, with Microsoft forced to change the name of its service to OneDrive.

In this case, however, Microsoft doesn't believe that it will have to rebrand Skype. The ruling simply means that Microsoft cannot register a trademark for the Skype name and bubble-design logo.

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"The case was not a legal challenge to Skype's use of the mark, it was only against the registration," a Microsoft spokesperson told the BBC.

"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 question is whether Sky will now demand licensing fee from Microsoft for continued use of the Skype brand.


May 6, 2015, 10:22 am

I really do not get Sky and why they are kicking up a fuss over this. It clearly is a completely different name to Skype, you know it has two more letters on the end finishing the sound of Sky-PE.

The whole planet has gone mad with businesses saying this sounds to similar to this or that it just shows what businesses are worth joining and those to avoid like Sky maybe! I think the general consumer is sick to death of this silliness.

One last thing, how can Sky thinking Skype is too similar sure it would not be doing them any harm to get a free advertisement globally on a product that is more successful than their trashy next to useless broad band services, I mean how much would that cost to promote normally then?

Only in our EU can we have such a stupid ruling from Brussels, reminds of the time when Brussel Sprouts had to be a minimum size before you could sell them in EU. How pathetic....

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