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UK's BSKYB Wins 'SkyDrive' Suit Against Microsoft

By - Source: TechCrunch | B 18 comments

Score one for BSkyB.

UK satellite company BSkyB, commonly known as Sky, has won a trademark infringement suit against Microsoft. The suit relates to Redmond's use of the term SkyDrive in the European Union. According to the ruling, Sky contends that Microsoft's use of 'Sky Drive' in all forms relating to cloud storage services has amounted to an infringement of BSkyB's trademarks.

Now, you might be wondering why a satellite TV provider cares about cloud storage services. Cast your mind back to 2011, and you might remember that BSkyB had its own cloud storage service dubbed 'Sky Store & Share.' This service allowed users to upload documents, files and photos for storage or sharing with others. The service launched in 2007 and was discontinued in December 2011, but not before Microsoft launched Sky Drive in the EU.

Sky thinks there's a chance customers would be confused, whereas Microsoft disagrees. In her ruling, Justice Sarah Asplin says there is a chance for confusion as the average, reasonably well informed and observant user of broadband Internet could think the services are related. What's more, Justice Asplin says that Microsoft's use of the "SkyDrive" brand was detrimental to the Sky trademark.

Microsoft has told TechCrunch that it plans to appeal the case, though it's not clear what will happen if Microsoft loses again. It's possible the company would have to pay damages or stop using the SkyDrive branding altogether. Eek.

Display 18 Comments.
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  • 0 Hide
    kungpaoshizi , July 3, 2013 6:24 AM
    Wth... nobody in their right mind would confuse the two.
    Further 'Sky Store & Share' is quite different than 'SkyDrive'.
    Just another patent troll... This also makes me think, so the use of "Sky something something" is out of bounds for use for a title? What about "SkyFace"....
  • 5 Hide
    ubercake , July 3, 2013 6:34 AM
    Next they'll go after Skyy Vodka, since Skyy's customers are often confused after drinking too much.
  • 2 Hide
    blubbey , July 3, 2013 6:42 AM
    Quote:
    Wth... nobody in their right mind would confuse the two.
    Further 'Sky Store & Share' is quite different than 'SkyDrive'.
    Just another patent troll... This also makes me think, so the use of "Sky something something" is out of bounds for use for a title? What about "SkyFace"....


    A couple years back Ford got all pissy because Ferrari wanted to use "F150" for one of their cars, threatening to sue etc. Who in their right mind would confuse an F1 car with a truck? I don't know. Moral of the story, people sue over stupid shit.
  • 2 Hide
    Max Collodi , July 3, 2013 7:18 AM
    Quote:
    Wth... nobody in their right mind would confuse the two.
    Further 'Sky Store & Share' is quite different than 'SkyDrive'.
    Just another patent troll... This also makes me think, so the use of "Sky something something" is out of bounds for use for a title? What about "SkyFace"....

    This is a trademark issue. It has absolutely nothing to do with patents. Under U.S. law, Microsoft could have claimed that BSKYB's lack of use of the trademark over time would have invalidated their trademark rights. In the UK the law could likely be different.
  • 0 Hide
    Willy McBurgle , July 3, 2013 7:30 AM
    I'm not exactly a Microsoft fan these days - but this judgement is just retarded.
  • 1 Hide
    Soda-88 , July 3, 2013 7:32 AM
    If you don't use it, you lose it.
  • 2 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 3, 2013 7:55 AM
    Next they plan to sue James Bond for Skyfall
  • 1 Hide
    ubercake , July 3, 2013 8:11 AM
    Quote:
    Next they plan to sue James Bond for Skyfall


    :lol: 
  • 1 Hide
    sykozis , July 3, 2013 9:51 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Wth... nobody in their right mind would confuse the two.
    Further 'Sky Store & Share' is quite different than 'SkyDrive'.
    Just another patent troll... This also makes me think, so the use of "Sky something something" is out of bounds for use for a title? What about "SkyFace"....


    A couple years back Ford got all pissy because Ferrari wanted to use "F150" for one of their cars, threatening to sue etc. Who in their right mind would confuse an F1 car with a truck? I don't know. Moral of the story, people sue over stupid shit.


    Ford was claiming Trademark infringement as Ford Motor Company holds a legal trademark on "F-150" as a vehicle model. Ferrari had prior knowledge of the Trademark and it's consistent use. That's completely different from this case where BSkyB has no legal claims to the SkyDrive branding but are claiming the use of "Sky" causes "confusion" for consumers.
  • 0 Hide
    bhaberle , July 3, 2013 10:21 AM
    Stupid lawsuit shouldn't of ever happened
  • 0 Hide
    ssdpro , July 3, 2013 12:34 PM
    Quote:
    Wth... nobody in their right mind would confuse the two.


    You forgot this is Europe.

  • 0 Hide
    falchard , July 3, 2013 2:41 PM
    Allow me to explain the judge's ruling.
    "Microsoft is not a European country, so they can serve a $1 billion fine in order to increase the coffers of the EU's failed state of affairs."

    If I was Microsoft, I would pull out of the EU all together. The fines they have to pay for doing business in the EU has most likely taken away any profit they might enjoy from the European customer. Being a punching bag in order to help EU countries budgetary problems is not a good position to be in.
  • 0 Hide
    blubbey , July 3, 2013 3:01 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Wth... nobody in their right mind would confuse the two.
    Further 'Sky Store & Share' is quite different than 'SkyDrive'.
    Just another patent troll... This also makes me think, so the use of "Sky something something" is out of bounds for use for a title? What about "SkyFace"....


    A couple years back Ford got all pissy because Ferrari wanted to use "F150" for one of their cars, threatening to sue etc. Who in their right mind would confuse an F1 car with a truck? I don't know. Moral of the story, people sue over stupid shit.


    Ford was claiming Trademark infringement as Ford Motor Company holds a legal trademark on "F-150" as a vehicle model. Ferrari had prior knowledge of the Trademark and it's consistent use. That's completely different from this case where BSkyB has no legal claims to the SkyDrive branding but are claiming the use of "Sky" causes "confusion" for consumers.


    F150 != F-150.
  • 0 Hide
    martel80 , July 3, 2013 11:22 PM
    Quote:
    If I was Microsoft, I would pull out of the EU all together. The fines they have to pay for doing business in the EU has most likely taken away any profit they might enjoy from the European customer.

    If this was the case, then Microsoft would have backed out a long time ago. Either they're really stupid or you're wrong. I think it's the latter.
  • 0 Hide
    sykozis , July 4, 2013 7:26 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Wth... nobody in their right mind would confuse the two.
    Further 'Sky Store & Share' is quite different than 'SkyDrive'.
    Just another patent troll... This also makes me think, so the use of "Sky something something" is out of bounds for use for a title? What about "SkyFace"....


    A couple years back Ford got all pissy because Ferrari wanted to use "F150" for one of their cars, threatening to sue etc. Who in their right mind would confuse an F1 car with a truck? I don't know. Moral of the story, people sue over stupid shit.


    Ford was claiming Trademark infringement as Ford Motor Company holds a legal trademark on "F-150" as a vehicle model. Ferrari had prior knowledge of the Trademark and it's consistent use. That's completely different from this case where BSkyB has no legal claims to the SkyDrive branding but are claiming the use of "Sky" causes "confusion" for consumers.


    F150 != F-150.


    The Trademark on "F-150" also covers "F150" because the 2 can in fact be confused in conversation.
  • 2 Hide
    Vladislaus , July 4, 2013 9:48 AM
    Quote:
    You forgot this is Europe.

    Yep, because Americans are more intelligent and better educated...
  • 0 Hide
    eldridgep , July 5, 2013 3:07 AM
    "If I was Microsoft, I would pull out of the EU all together. The fines they have to pay for doing business in the EU has most likely taken away any profit they might enjoy from the European customer. Being a punching bag in order to help EU countries budgetary problems is not a good position to be in."

    Hmm population of the US 2012 was 313 million people. Population of Europe in 2011 was 739 million people. I do hope you are not in business... Besides with expected revenues of over $30 billion I'm sure they will somehow struggle through. If they had complied with the rulings in the first place they wouldn't have been fined at all.

    As for European budgetary mess I do believe there is a world wide economic downturn currently which was started by the US sub prime mortgage lending so don't make out you guys have no issues over there.
  • 0 Hide
    sykozis , July 7, 2013 12:50 PM
    Quote:
    "If I was Microsoft, I would pull out of the EU all together. The fines they have to pay for doing business in the EU has most likely taken away any profit they might enjoy from the European customer. Being a punching bag in order to help EU countries budgetary problems is not a good position to be in."

    Hmm population of the US 2012 was 313 million people. Population of Europe in 2011 was 739 million people. I do hope you are not in business... Besides with expected revenues of over $30 billion I'm sure they will somehow struggle through. If they had complied with the rulings in the first place they wouldn't have been fined at all.

    As for European budgetary mess I do believe there is a world wide economic downturn currently which was started by the US sub prime mortgage lending so don't make out you guys have no issues over there.


    How exactly do you comply with rules that change constantly to allow companies to file against US companies? Under typical trademark laws, this would have been thrown out because there's no possible way for consumers to confuse "Microsoft SkyDrive" with "Sky Store and Share". The simple fact that SkyDrive carries the MS branding, requires a Microsoft account and has to be downloaded directly from Microsoft prevents any confusion. Unless BSkyB had a trademark that included "Sky" as a prefix, MS did nothing wrong. It's just another case of the EU ruling against a US based company for their own benefit... Hell, SkyDrive even predates "Sky Store and Share" by 3 years. Microsoft introduced "SkyDrive" in 2007 whereas "Sky Store and Share" was introduced in 2010.