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This article was published on May 5, 2015


An EU court thinks you can’t tell the difference between Skype and Sky

An EU court thinks you can’t tell the difference between Skype and Sky


Amanda Connolly
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Amanda Connolly

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Amanda Connolly is a reporter for The Next Web, currently based in London. Originally from Ireland, Amanda previously worked in press and ed Amanda Connolly is a reporter for The Next Web, currently based in London. Originally from Ireland, Amanda previously worked in press and editorial at the Web Summit. She’s interested in all things tech, with a particular fondness for lifestyle and creative tech and the spaces where these intersect. Twitter

The General Court of the European Union court has ruled today that Skype’s name is too similar to Sky’s and could easily be confused.

This means that Microsoft is now banned from registering a trademark for the Skype name and logo.

According to a report on BBC, the judges noted that:

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’.

The ruling doesn’t mean that Skype will have to change names or rebrand, it just means the logo and name can’t be registered.

A Sky spokesperson told TNW:

This relates to a long-running dispute with Skype over the extension of its trade mark applications to cover a broad range of goods and services that overlap with Sky’s own trade mark registrations (including, but not limited to, TV related products and 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.

Though Microsoft hasn’t confirmed that it will appeal the decision to TNW, it has said it will to other outlets.

 

➤ Court says Skype’s name is too similar to Sky’s [BBC]

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