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.
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.