Skype was refused a trademark as it sounds too much like Sky

Jessica Morris
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Skype or Sky? (Source: Getty)

It's not hard to tell the difference between Skype and Sky. One's a Microsoft-owned text, voice and video messaging service, the other's a Rupert Murdoch-owned television, broadband and telephone provider.

But yesterday judges at the General Court of the European Union in Luxembourg said the public could be confused by the two, as Skype's name and logo sounds and looks too similar to those of "Sky".

Because of that, it upheld a previous decision by the trademark office in 2012 and 2013, which prevented the Skype name being registered, but did not block its use by the business.

"Conceptually, the figurative element conveys no concept, except perhaps that of a cloud," the judgement said.

"[That] would further increase the likelihood of the element 'Sky' being recognised within the word element 'Skype', for clouds are to be found 'in the sky' and thus may readily be associated with the word 'sky'."

Microsoft, which owns Skype, has said it intends to appeal the decision.

The case was initially bought by Microsoft to challenge the 2012 and 2013 decisions by the EU trademark authority which followed a complaint from Sky about 10 years ago.

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