For Microsoft, this has certainly been a week of ups and downs. After successfully releasing a preview release of both of their brand new operating systems Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 at Build 2013, Microsoft is now in the news yet again for a somewhat less exciting reason – the company has just lost a major court battle against BSkyB of SkyTV services in the UK, who claimed trademark infringement against Microsoft for their SkyDrive cloud services service.
The British court claimed that there was reason to believe that there was room for confusion regarding SkyTV and SkyDrive, though the services remain fundamentally very different. A Microsoft spokesperson claimed that they will begin an appeals process as soon as possible, while a BSkyB spokesperson delivered the following statement to the press:
Sky is pleased with the judgment handed down today by Mrs Justice Asplin. We regard any unauthorised use of the Sky name as a clear infringement of our well-established Sky brand. We remain vigilant in protecting the Sky brand and will continue to take appropriate action against those companies that seek to use our trademarks without consent.
It’s not clear what will come of the court’s decision if upheld following the appeal. In many similar cases, the infringing party often has to pay reparations to the infringed and more often than not also has to cease using the branding immediately. As Microsoft has globally built up their SkyDrive brand such a move could be catastrophic for the company, who already faces fierce competition against the like of Dropbox and Apple’s iCloud.