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This article was published on August 9, 2010

Do these logos confuse you? BSkyB objects to the ‘Sky’ in Skype

Do these logos confuse you? BSkyB objects to the ‘Sky’ in Skype
Martin Bryant
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Martin Bryant

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Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-qualit Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-quality, compelling content for them. He previously served in several roles at TNW, including Editor-in-Chief. He left the company in April 2016 for pastures new.

The biggest tech news of the day so far is undoubtedly Skype‘s intention to go public with a $100m IPO. However, Paid Content UK spotted a rather interesting point in the ‘Risks’ section of Skype’s filing today; the VoIP operator’s logo is being disputed by British media company BSkyB.

The filing notes that BSkyB, a company part-owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation that uses the ‘Sky’ trademark, opposes Skype’s bubble logo.

“On July 6, 2010, we received a negative first instance decision from the European Union trademark registry (OHIM) onBSkyB’s opposition proceeding against the Skype bubble logo trademark application.

We intend to appeal this decision by submitting a notice of appeal to the OHIM Board of Appeal, and if necessary to the General Court at the Court of Justice of the European Community.”

Skype notes the worst-case scenario if BSkyB is successful in its opposition: “…we could be precluded from using the Skype name or logo in one or more jurisdictions without obtaining a license from BSkyB or such other third parties, which license may not be available on commercially reasonable terms or at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.”

In short, if Skype loses the right to use its name in certain parts of the world it could be in big trouble.

While it’s perhaps difficult to believe that many people would be confused between ‘Sky’ and ‘Skype’, both companies offer telephony services so they are competing in the same field. As such it’s certainly something for any potential shareholders to be aware of.