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Court says Skype sounds too similar to Sky

by Jacob Kleinman | May 6, 2015

skype fail copy

Skype’s trademark is in peril after a European court ruled that it’s too similar to British broadcaster Sky. The Microsoft-owned company says it plans to appeal the decision, the BBC reports.

In the recent ruling, judges from the EU General Court argued that the Skype logo’s only distinguishing feature, the clouds, are a clear reference to the word sky. “Conceptually, the figurative element conveys no concept, except perhaps that of a cloud,” they noted, adding that this “would further increase the likelihood of the element ‘Sky’ being recognized within the word element ‘Skype’, for clouds are to be found ‘in the sky’ and thus may readily be associated with the word ‘sky’.”

The case actually dates all the way back to 2005, before Microsoft even bought Skype. Last year, the Redmond company was forced to rebrand SkyDrive as OneDrive after a ruling from London’s High Court. However, the Windows-maker says it’s not even considering rebranding Skype’s main service.

“We’re confident that no confusion exists between these brands and services and will appeal,” a Microsoft representative told BBC. “This decision does not require us to alter product names in any way.”

If Sky is aggressive it could be a real issue for Skype moving forward. It’s possible the end result could be a simple licensing fee paid to the British broadcaster, though considering how long this case has been around it could be a while before a final agreement is reached.

BBC

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Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...


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