Video chat service Skype lost in an EU court battle. Its name is considered to be too similar to the name of television corporation Sky and could confuse the public.
British broadcaster Sky filed an opposition with the European Trademarks Office (OHIM) almost a decade ago: Sky and Skype are too similar, they claimed.
Many years later, the European General Court upheld the 2012 and 2013 decisions by the trademark office, and sided with Sky. This basically prevents the name Skype from being registered in Europe. However, it will not (yet) block its use by owner Microsoft.
Microsoft, although on the losing side of this legal battle, remains optimistic: “The case was not a legal challenge to Skype’s use of the mark, it was only against the registration. We’re confident that no confusion exists between these brands and services, and will appeal. This decision does not require us to alter product names in any way”.
It is very likely Microsoft will appeal. Their acquisition of Skype in 2011 – for USD 8.500.000,00 – is way too important.