A European Court has ruled the Skype brand is similar enough to that of Sky to confuse the public.
The General Court of the European Union judgment means that Microsoft, which owns the video chat service, is prevented from registering the familiar bubble logo in Europe.
“Conceptually, the figurative element conveys no concept, except perhaps that of a cloud … [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’.”
skype-2It’s the second time that Sky has taken Microsoft to court in a trademark dispute. In 2014 the software giant changed the name of its SkyDrive storage product to OneDrive after a London High Court ruling.
Microsoft looks ready to appeal the decision: “”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 company said in a statement.
Sky said it held trademarks over a range of products not restricted to its pay-TV services: “Our intention has been to protect the Sky brand with our research showing that similarities in name and logo have the potential to confuse customers,” it said.
It’s clear that Sky wants its brand to be associated with a wide range of communications products.
The decision can be appealed at the European Court of Justice.