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European court rules Skype’s name is too similar to Sky broadcaster

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A court in Europe has ruled that Microsoft’s Skype logo and name is too similar to the Sky broadcaster. The judgement will prevent Microsoft from registering a trademark for the Skype name and logo design in Europe. This is the second time Microsoft has been involved with a court case with Sky. British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB) forced Microsoft to rename its SkyDrive cloud storage service to OneDrive after a UK court ruled it was too similar.

"We’re confident no confusion exists between these brands and services and will appeal," says a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. "This decision does not require us to alter product names in any way." While Microsoft won’t be forced to rename Skype, Sky may request licensing fees to use the Skype brand in Europe. Sky originally filed its complaint in 2005, six years before Microsoft completed its acquisition of Skype for $8.5 billion. The complaint centers on the registration of the Skype trademark, rather than its usage. It’s not clear how Microsoft intends to protect its Skype name if an appeal fails, and that could allow others to use the Skype name for their products. Sky provides TV services primarily in the UK, with channels like Sky One, Sky Sports, and Sky Movies.