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May 6, 2015

Sky wins court fight with Skype over similar names

EU court says Sky makes you think of clouds.

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft has lost the battle against British Sky Broadcasting Group over trademark for Skype‘s name and bubble-design logo, after an EU court ruled in favour of Sky.

According to the court ruling, the name Skype is strikingly similar to Sky, which is likely to create confusion amongst customers of the respective brands.

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

"That 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’."

In 2004 and 2005, Skype applied for registration of Skype trademark for audiovisual goods, photography goods, telephony and computer services related to the service.

However, a year later British Sky Broadcasting Group filed a notice to oppose the trademark of Skype’s name and logo.

Later European Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) upheld the opposition, considering the likelihood of confusion regarding visual, phonetic and conceptual similarity of the word.

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Previously, British Sky Broadcasting Group won a similar battle, where it forced Microsoft to rename SkyDrive cloud storage to OneDrive, due to similarity in name.

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