Would you confuse “Skype” with “Sky”? It’s tough, I know, but in attempting to trademark the Skype name and bubble logo, the General Court of the European Union has ruled that the name of Microsoft’s Skype is so similar to British broadcaster Sky the public is likely to confuse the two.
According to the BBC, judges at the court said 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’.” Whether or not Skype’s logo really resembles “that of a cloud,” Microsoft is intending to appeal the decision.
If the decision sticks, Sky could potentially ask Microsoft for a licensing fee to use the Skype name in Europe, although the broadcaster hasn’t indicated it wishes to do so. “This [case] relates to a long-running dispute with Skype over the extension of its trademark applications to cover a broad range of goods and services that overlap with Sky’s own trademark registrations,” Sky said in a statement. “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.”
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