EU court rules “Skype” is too similar to “Sky,” blocks trademark application

Posted on May 6, 2015

Mark Walton, for Ars Technica :

Would you confuse “Skype” with “Sky”? It’s tough, I know, but in attempting to trademark the Skype name and bubble logo, the General Court of the European Union has ruled that the name of Microsoft’s Skype is so similar to British broadcaster Sky the public is likely to confuse the two.

As a French law student, I was taught to have a high opinion of the CJEU, because of it’s role as the European Union’s Supreme Court, who punishes countries’ misdemeanor and EU’s law transgressions.

Obviously, this is not the case today.

I doubt that anyone previously confused Skype and Sky as the same entity before. Okay, both use the “Sky” word, and have some representation of a cloud in their trademark, but I doubt they are the only ones to do so. More so, Skype was founded in 2003 and was a pure European product : it was made by Swedes, Estonians, and Danes before it was bought by eBay in 2005.

The best conclusion possible to this decision was made by Walton himself :

For now, just be aware that talking into your Sky+ remote isn’t the way to make VOIP calls, and clicking the video icon in Skype won’t bring up the new season of Game of Thrones.

Was anyone this confused?