An EU court has ruled that Microsoft changes Skype’s name because it’s too similar to service provider Sky..
Skype is a free instant messaging, voice, and video calling app which was acquired by Microsoft in 2011. Sky, or British Sky Broadcasting, is a television, Internet, and home phone service provider in the UK. The two are completely different companies and the names are distinct enough, but one EU Judge believes “Skype” could confuse customers looking for “Sky”.
BSkyB have once again taken Microsoft to court over the use of the word Sky, it happened before with Microsoft’s SkyDrive, which you’ll now know is called OneDrive instead, and now it seems it’s happening once again.
The judges have ruled that the two names are too similar. They also ruled that Skype’s cloud-like logo “would further increase the likelihood of the element ‘Sky’ being recognized within the word element ‘Skype.'” Which I personally think is absolutely ridiculous.
Thankfully, Microsoft doesn’t have to change Skype’s name this time around, it just won’t be able to file any trademark registrations for the product’s name and logo. A Microsoft spokesperson said this on the matter:
The case was not a legal challenge to Skype’s use of the mark, it was only against the registration. 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.
As for the trademark troubles, Microsoft says that they have other measures in place to stop European companies from trying to register the name and logo of the messenger, despite being unable to legally register them.