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Microsoft loses Skydrive trademark case to BSkyB

Could lead to renaming
Mon Jul 01 2013, 11:50

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Microsoft has lost a lawsuit brought by BSkyB over the use of the term "Skydrive".

Microsoft's Skydrive is the firm's public cloud storage service that plays a big role in Windows 8 and Windows Phone as a means of storing and sharing data. BSkyB took offense to the trademark and has won a lawsuit against Microsoft over use of the name.

BSkyB took offense at Microsoft's use of the word "sky" in its product, claiming it had widely used the trademark before Microsoft's service began in the UK. Microsoft contested that the word "sky" cannot be a registered trademark for the purposes of a cloud based data storage service.

Microsoft said, "The word 'sky' is a convenient and common word used by traders to describe or allude to a cloud storage system (be that system a good or a service) such that (a) it is incapable of distinguishing a cloud storage system of one undertaking from that of another, and (b) it should be kept free for use by all traders offering such systems," adding that the average consumer would associate the term "sky" with a cloud based data storage service.

Justice Asplin said in her concluding remarks, "Although I accept that there was no use of the Sky get up or indicia in Skydrive, it seems to me that the evidence revealed confusion amongst real people." She also didn't accept Microsoft's argument that in 2008 the word "sky" would be associated with cloud services by the average consumer.

Microsoft has the right to appeal the judgment. However should Microsoft not be able to overturn this verdict it might have to rename Skydrive, much like it had to rename the Metro interface in Windows 8. µ


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