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Skype and Sky: are you confused?

For many years and long before the takeover of Skype by its current owner Microsoft, the British company British Sky Broadcasting Group – now Sky – has challenged the communication platform for the use of the part of the word "Sky" which belongs to its brand .

For the Sky group, best known in the United Kingdom for its satellite television package, there is a risk of confusion with its registered trademark Sky. It would relate in particular to the pronouncement but also at the level of the logo with the contours surrounding Skype which evoke a cloud (sky in English).

Skype-Sky-logos

The court of the European Union has just dismissed an appeal filed by Skype and confirms " that there is a risk of confusion between the figurative and verbal signs Skype and the word mark Sky ". It evokes a" visual, phonetic and conceptual similarity. "

This decision does not imply that Microsoft will have to abandon the Skype name in Europe. On the other hand, the Redmond company will not be able to register a trademark for the Skype name and the logo. In fact, other actors could surf the name Skype. Microsoft will appeal this decision.

The BBC explains that in theory, Sky could now try to sue Microsoft in order to obtain a license fee for the use of the Skype mark in Europe, even without blocking it.

In any case, this is not the first time that Microsoft has encountered Sky. In 2014, Microsoft had to change the name of its cloud service SkyDrive to OneDrive after a British court decision.