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Microsoft has lost a trademark infringement case taken out by BSkyB for infringement of their Sky trademark by Microsoft’s SkyDrive.
The case dates back to 2011, when BSkyB initiated “an action for passing off and for infringement of two registered Community trade marks (CTMs) and two UK registered trade marks (UKTMs) for the mark ‘SKY’ by which the Claimants [BSkyB] seek to prevent the Defendants [Microsoft] from using ‘SkyDrive’ as the name for their cloud storage service throughout the European Union.”
Microsoft argued that there is no confusion between Microsoft and BSkyB’s cloud services but the judge Mrs Justice Asplin disagreed, saying the scope of BSkyB’s “SKY” registered trademarks, as well as its goodwill in the SKY brand, was such that Microsoft’s use of the “SkyDrive” mark was likely to cause confusion among consumers. She also decided that use by Microsoft of the “SkyDrive” brand was detrimental to the SKY mark which, in itself, amounted to trademark infringement.
In a statement BSkyB said “Sky is pleased with the judgment handed down today by Mrs Justice Asplin. We regard any unauthorised use of the Sky name as a clear infringement of our well-established Sky brand. We remain vigilant in protecting the Sky brand and will continue to take appropriate action against those companies that seek to use our trademarks without consent.”
Microsoft is appealing the decision, saying: “This case is only about the SkyDrive name and has nothing to do with service availability or future innovation. The decision is one step in the legal process and Microsoft intends to appeal.”
The decision in this case went again Microsoft, but an earlier litigation against Skype by Sky went nowhere, suggesting the company is rather litigious, and hopefully in the end sense will prevail.