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Sky vs Skype logo

May 21st, 2015

In a controversial decision by the General Court of the European Union, Microsoft has been blocked from filing a trademark application for its video chat software Skype.






The complainant is Sky, the Rupert Murdoch-owned broadcasting company, which argued that Skype should not be allowed to trademark its name since it was an infringement of Sky’s trademark.

Remarkably, the EU courts agreed with Sky, ruling that “conceptually”, the blue and white bubble-like Skype logo looked a bit like clouds, clouds are found ‘in the sky’, ergo consumers might mistake the Skype video chat software for the Sky broadcasting company.


I am baffled by this decision. Apart from the same three letters in the name, I fail to see how consumers could mistake or confuse Skype for Sky, can you?

Fortunately for Skype, the ruling doesn’t mean that Microsoft needs to change the name of its popular software or undergo a rebrand, but it does mean that, if they wanted to, Sky could force Microsoft to pay a license fee for the right to use the ‘sky-‘ prefix.

What are your thoughts on this court decision? Am I the only one who thinks it’s crazy? Microsoft are set to appeal – the outcome will be interesting!


About the Author:

Although her primary niche is in scientific writing and editing, freelance writer Lisa Martin is also a creative type with an eye for design. She regularly works alongside graphic designers and as such has a keen interest in the development of logos and branding.

Leave Your Comment

This is typical money fight. Two giants fighting... I have no idea what is it in it for Sky? Charge skype for using the name? Strange logo design wars.

by PavelJune 05, 2015