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EU court finds Skype's name too similar to Sky broadcaster's


Microsoft has lost another legal battle against British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB), after a European court found Skype's name to be too similar to the latter's. The judges also ruled that the service's cloud-like logo "would further increase the likelihood of the element 'Sky' being recognized within the word element 'Skype.'" Redmond lost a similar case to the same broadcaster in court years ago, prompting the company to completely change the name of its cloud service from SkyDrive to OneDrive. Fortunately for Microsoft, it doesn't have to change Skype's name this time around -- it merely can't file a trademark registration for the product's name and logo.

"The case was not a legal challenge to Skype's use of the mark, it was only against the registration," an MS spokesperson said. "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 tech titan said it has other measures in place to prevent European companies from using the name and logo of its popular chat messenger, even if it can't legally register them in the continent.

In addition to these two cases against Microsoft, BSkyB also took Livescribe to court for its Sky smartpens, forcing the company to pull the product from its UK store. Clearly, any company manufacturing a product with the word "sky" in its name may want to think of an alternative before releasing it in Europe... just in case.

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