BSkyB wants to take the 'Sky' out of Skype

11th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

British satellite broadcaster BSkyB confirmed on Wednesday it was locked in a dispute with Skype about the Internet phone company's use of the "Sky" part of its name.

The five-year battle only came to light when Skype filed documents this week ahead of a proposed 100 million dollar (78 million euro) flotation on New York's NASDAQ stock exchange.

The statement released for the initial public offering (IPO) revealed that Skype is contesting a number of challenges from BSkyB over the use of the word "Sky" in its brand name and logo.

BSkyB, whose largest shareholder is media baron Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., confirmed that it had asked trademark authorities to look into the matter.

A BSkyB spokesman said: "In a world where entertainment and communications services are increasingly converging, it is clear that companies that operate in the same or similar sectors need to ensure that they can protect their brands.

"Our research demonstrates that similarities in name and logo have the potential to confuse a great many consumers.

"This is of particular concern in respect to Skype wishing to extend its trademark applications to cover TV-related products and services."

Skype said in its IPO registration statement that BSkyB was opposing it in the European Union, India, Brazil and Norway.

The EU's trademark registration office has already ruled in favour of BSkyB over Skype's logo, but Skype said it intends to appeal that decision.

© 2010 AFP

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