Published: August 10, 2010 08.40 Europe/London
VOiP service Skype is embroiled in a trademark dispute with BSkyB, which is claiming ownership over the Sky mark. In documents filed with the US Securities and Equities Commission in connection with its forthcoming IPO, Skype says it has received objections from BSkyB and its affiliates through the European Union, Norway, Brazil and India.
In addition to its core satellite television service, BSkyB also offers its customers broadband internet and fixed line telephony.
To date Skype, which has offices in Luxembourg and the United States, has successfully defended opposition in Switzerland and Turkey and received indications that a positive decision will be forthcoming from Brazil.
However, last month The Trademarks and Designs Registration Office of the European Union (OHIM) ruled in favour of BSkyB in an objection against Skypeís famous bubble logo.
Skype says it intends to appeal against the ruling, in the first instance to the OHIM Board of Appeal, and if necessary to the General Court at the Court of Justice of the European Community.
If it loses Skype may have a hard time in preventing third parties from using its name without permission. It says if successful BSkyB and others may be encouraged to make further claims that would be both costly and time consuming.
The price range and cost of the Skype offering is yet to be made public.