Microsoft has lost in a trademark dispute over the trade name “Skydrive”. The British TV broadcaster, British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB) brought the claim after fears arose that customers may confuse Microsoft’s services with its own “Sky” services.

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Skydrive vs Sky

Skydrive is a cloud storage service offered by Microsoft.

Between 2008 and 2011 BSkyB, which is one of the largest private TV broadcasters in Europe, offered a cloud service called “Sky Store & Share”, where customers could store digital data, photographs and films.

Sky’s digital storage services date back to 2001 when it introduced the set-top box Sky+ and since 2006 Sky has offered its own internet services.

BSkyB feared customers may confuse its services, which are commonly known under the name “Sky”, with Microsoft’s SkyCloud and brought a suit against Microsoft.

The High Court of England and Wales took the view that Microsoft had infringed the trademark rights of BSkyB by using the name Skydrive.

Justice Sarah Asplin held that BSkyB had sufficiently demonstrated that there was a risk of consumers confusing the two services.

A penalty was not handed down in the judgment, but Justice Asplin did indicate that Microsoft may have to change the name of its could services.

You can view the High Court judgment here.