Court Rules That Microsoft Illegally Uses SkyDrive Name in Europe

The software maker might be forced to change the name of its cloud-based storage service

By on July 1st, 2013 12:45 GMT

A UK court has ruled in the favor of Sky Broadcasting Group in a lawsuit against Microsoft which claims that the software maker illegally uses the SkyDrive product name across the Old Continent.

The British company has registered for the “Sky” trademark for software and digital communications in Europe, so Microsoft has to either pay the company royalties for using the name, or simply rename its product in Europe.

Since SkyDrive is currently a key product for Microsoft’s long-term strategy, being implemented in Windows, Office, and other products, the Redmond-based technology company might very well try to settle the legal dispute and sign an agreement that would allow it to use the same name for its cloud storage service.

Microsoft is yet to release a statement on this, but it’s very important to note that this is the second major trademark infringement lawsuit the technology giant loses in just two years.

A company spokesperson has refused to provide more information, but told TechCrunch that Microsoft is already planning to appeal the decision.

“This case is only about the SkyDrive name and has nothing to do with service availability or future innovation,” he was quoted as saying. “The decision is one step in the legal process and Microsoft intends to appeal.”

Sky, on the other hand, is pleased with the court’s decision and doesn’t seem to be willing to settle.

“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,” a company representative told the same source.

Last year before the launch of the new Windows 8, Microsoft lost a legal dispute with retail group Metro AG which claimed that the Metro UI interface introduced in the new operating system infringes its trademark.

At that time, Microsoft has decided to completely change the name of the design style to Modern, claiming that Metro was anyway just an internal codename for the product.

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