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Microsoft Might Be Forced To Rename Skype In Europe

Skype Trademark Europe

The European odyssey continues for Microsoft, and the market is slowly becoming a bit of a hostile environment for the company, at least when it comes to legal issues.

After the hefty fine handed to it by the EU in 2011, the software titan is facing trademarking issues.

Or problems related to the names of its products.

First it was the SkyDrive conundrum, but Redmond sorted that out by renaming its cloud based file storage service as OneDrive. That was due to the name ‘Sky’ which was owned by the Sky Broadcasting Group, also known as BSkyB or Sky News Corporation.

So basically, the General Court of the European Union ruled against allowing Microsoft to register the name Skype in Europe, as it sounds too similar to Sky.

Go figure!

The judge opines that Microsoft’s Skype could be confused with Sky, hence a trademark cannot be registered right now to get over this.

Microsoft, for their part, have already expressed their intentions to appeal the decision, and a spokesperson has confirmed that they don’t plan to rename Skype until a final verdict is announced:

“We’re confident no confusion exists between these brands and services and will appeal. This decision does not require us to alter product names in any way.”

Sky, other hands, says that this is a fair ruling.

Not to say that Redmond will be forced to rename Skype right now, but that’s not guarantee for the future. The software titan could theoretically have to pay a fee to the British company owning the rights to Sky, if things escalate.

One to watch, this.

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