Someone won against Microsoft
Has Hell frozen over yet?
British broadcaster Sky UK has won round two in its trademark infringement battle with Skype. The European Union General Court found on Tuesday that the two names are too similar and could cause confusion. In 2012 and 2013 the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) upheld Sky’s complaint, but Skype then …
I'd rather they both stop farting around and throwing money at their legal teams. They should spend the money on something that will actually benefit customers such as improving their service. You can buy a lot of programmer hours for the price of a single lawyer hour.
Yes, but if someone comes along and tells you that you have to change the name of one of your most recognized brands just because, you're kind of put in the position of having to defend that. People don't invest in brand names just because they like to waste money - it can result in very material gain or loss. Let's face it, Kraft could produce generic knock-offs of most of Cadbury's line-up, but they were still willing to throw lots of money their way because that name guarantees them sales.
Anyway, this case isn't really about MS vs. Murdoch. It's really a judgement on how stupid we think people are. Confusing Skype and Sky because the first three letters are the same? I'm never letting anyone cook me Shitake Mushrooms if the verdict comes back that the humanity really has become that stupid.
Have they done any testing among the population to see if the contention 'this would confuse the plebs' is actually, y'know, confusing the plebs? Or are we such morons that the word 'Sky' or the picture of a cloud will have us hopelessly torn among choices and we would know not whither to turn?
For their next trick, they're probably going to be targetting purveyors of large open metal building waste disposal units and those who sell playground rope-based toys enjoyed mainly by young girls, not to mention anyone caught selling shell-shaped prawn cocktail flavoured snacks.
Calls to Skype and parent company Microsoft for comment were not returned at time of publication
I've had that problem with Skype as well, best thing is to turn it off and on again.
More seriously though, it's starting to feel as though BSkyB are the new Easy-group, claiming infringements on anything with "Sky" in the title. I can just about understand the Sky Drive case (though even that seemed a little far fetched - is Sky particularly well known anywhere outside of the UK?), but this one seems a little more desperate. TBH until I'd read this article I'd never considered that there could be any kind of (alleged) confusion between the brands.
That grown-up "professional" people get out of bed in the morning and go to work to argue about this crap.
Whilst I may occasionally grumble about my job, it does make me thankful that at least I spend my work day doing something constructive.
Well, it isn't. If it were we would all be saying "skip" as the 'e' is silent and we're not. If the court found against that then they must have been phonetically comparing the two words in another language.
I don't know about anyone else but I signed up to Sky because of their marketing. It's everywhere, every time I look up, above me all the time. Fscking Murdoch can take his fscking sky and shove it.
Wait, what, you mean... the atmosphere is not owned by Sky Plc despite having the word "sky" in it? Oh I see, solicitors found prior art in this case.
So a significant contributing factor in the decision was their “degree of visual, phonetic and conceptual similarity”?
Really? So Sky get to corner the market in use of what is a very very old common noun?
I don't think anyone with enough intelligence to understand what Skype and Sky are could possibly be confused by this similarity in sound.
I'm left feeling that the court is coming up with arguments to justify a decision that they were bound, for some reason, to make - rather than sensibly considering the facts.
Is it gross failure of intelligence? Inherent antipathy to anything Microsoft have a hand in? Or is it just because Murdoch is rich/influential?
I do not understand this ruling. AFAIAA there would only be an infringement if the two companies are competing in the same market. AFAIAA Sky does not offer VOIP and Skype does not provide video programs, so I cannot see where there would be any significant market overlap. So maybe one or both companies are planning to expand into the other's market areas?
It's more likely to be about brand association than simply being unable to tell the two products apart.
Even though no sane human being would ever think Skype could deliver TV shows or that they could phone their mum in Australia on their Sky box, they might have a vague idea that Sky and Skype are somehow part of the same company.
When choosing a product, people do tend to be influenced by the fact that they've somehow heard the name before. For years Packard Bell have successfully traded off the fact that US customers know and respect the brands Hewlett Packard and The Bell Telephone Company. I worked for a retail chain in the UK who sold PB, and you wouldn't believe the number of times prospective customers said "Oh, Hewlett Packard, they're supposed to be good aren't they?"
...aren't there a bunch of Sky TV channels in Europe that have nothing to do with BSkyB or Murdoch?
Surely that's a bit more of a trademark infringement being in the *direct industry* BSkyB operates in rather than a name that spuriously alludes to 'Sky' and operating in a *totally different industry* as Skype does.
My suggestion to MS is to raise the fact that:
a) Sky is used by other TV stations in Europe
b) Skype has nothing to do with TV.
Strange victory in that case. MS lost, being forced to pay Lindows $20M in return for the "Lindows" name, However Lindows changed it's name to Linspire, got acquired by Xandros, and vanished soon after.
Not sure who won in the end there, unless it was the lawyers.
Rupekins, since Skynet became active in August 1997, they are most interested in this action.
1. Skynet is not pronounced Skinet. It is, has always been, and always will be Skynet, with a nice long I vowel sound.
2. There is no similarity between the provision of service between Skynet and Sky. Oh cock. Yes there is. It is a one way stream leading to the death of the human race.
Bugger. Sorry. Move along.
Like probably the vast majority of human beings (of which; obvioulsy; lawyers & EU court judges are not part of) I had never heard of some (then) mickey mouse UK media comapny when I and thousands of others in Africa started using Skype.
I do assume; that the EU does know the rest of the world exisits ?
and is populated by humans - not scum bag lawyers and EU drecks ?
Last time I checked, lawyers don't start lawsuits. People hire them to fight a fight they are determined to have. If the parties keep throwing money at them, lawyers will keep doing their best to represent them.
It's too lazy to blame lawyers as if they were evil bastards. It's like blaming auditors.
A search on companies house returns 5,215 current or recently dissolved limited companies which start with 'Sky' from Sky PLC, Sky & Co Ltd., through to Skyzurich UK Ltd. including such curious companies as Skyline (Dungeons & Dragons) limited, any number of Skynet this or that, and worryingly Sky Nuclear Services Ltd (Presumably for the stage after litigation finishes)..
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