Boy, Redmond sure has had it tough when it comes to trademarks these past couple of years. First it was the legal dispute over the Metro UI in Windows 8 with the German retail group Metro AG, which claimed that this infringed its trademark.
The software titan at that time decided to drop the name Metro altogether and instead calls the user interface of the newer versions of Windows, a Modern UI.
And now a UK court has ruled in favor of Sky Broadcasting Group in a lawsuit against Microsoft whereby it claimed that the software company illegally uses the — wait for it — SkyDrive product name in Europe. The British company obviously has registered the “Sky” trademark in Europe.
This Sky trademark is used by Sky Broadcasting Group for software and digital communications in the Old Continent, meaning Microsoft either has to pay the company royalties for using the name or rename its service in Europe altogether.
A Microsoft company spokesperson has told TechCrunch that the company is already planning to appeal this decision:
“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.”
Sky, as you may have guessed, is pleased with the decision of the court, and it seems that the broadcasting company is not in the mood to settle. A company representative 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 yet to release an official statement on this, but this nevertheless is the second major trademark infringement lawsuit that it has lost in the past two years. Considering just how vital the SkyDrive service is for Redmond, we should hear about its strategy in this regard soon.