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Microsoft loses SkyDrive trademark suit to BSkyB in Europe

updated 08:59 pm EDT, Sun June 30, 2013

Compensation, possible rebranding could be ordered by judge

Microsoft has lost a trademark case in the United Kingdom over the branding of its cloud storage service. The ruling, which covers both the UK itself and the European Union, states that Microsoft infringed on British Sky Broadcasting's trademark of the Sky brand with SkyDrive, which could impact the way that the software company offers it across the continent.

The ruling decided that it is possible for consumers to confuse the two brands, according to TechCrunch. Aside from its satellite broadcasting service, Sky also offers mobile apps and streaming to customers, and at one point operated its own cloud storage product, though under the title of Sky Store & Share. Microsoft has put in a counterclaim to invalidate four Sky trademarks, "on the grounds of descriptiveness for cloud storage services," and that the company intends to appeal.

There are a number of different courses of action Microsoft could be forced to take once presiding judge Justice Sarah Asplin hears the appeal request arguments from Microsoft. It is likely that Microsoft will be forced to pay some sort of compensation to Sky for infringement, and to work out a deal for its future usage, but it is also possible that Microsoft may not be allowed to use the name, causing the company to rebrand its cloud storage, at least within Europe.

by MacNN Staff



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