Feeds

Sky wins trademark tiff with Skype

Only one has the footie, though

The Power of One Infographic

British Sky Broadcasting has won a trademark dispute against Skype™ in the EU. The parasitic VoIP service is appealing, citing successful defences against BSkyB in Switzerland, Turkey and Brazil.

The dispute, which has been running for five years, was little-known outside legal circles until it emerged in the mammoth S-1 document that accompanies Skype™'s public flotation. According to BSkyB, its polling finds that consumers are confused, and the broadcaster also contends that the logos are also similar.

As you can see:

Skype™ states that:

"To date, we have successfully defended these oppositions in Switzerland and Turkey and to date have received a positive decision in Brazil. However, on July 6, 2010, we received a negative first instance decision from the European Union trademark registry (OHIM) on BSkyB’s opposition proceeding against the Skype bubble logo trademark application. We intend to appeal this decision by submitting a notice of appeal to the OHIM Board of Appeal, and if necessary to the General Court at the Court of Justice of the European Community."

Trademarks differ from other intellectual property law in that the owner of the mark must constantly reassert the mark, or risk losing it. They're easy to lose: in 2002, Sony lost the Walkman™, merely because the word had appeared in a German dictionary without a reference to Sony. This is a problem for Skype™, too - the service is so popular, it's become synonymous with computer-to-computer telephony. Google has also been obliged to defend its name against genericide.

The UK IPO database lists over 500 trademarks containing the word Sky™. Including this one. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.