Sky, which holds two UK registered trademarks for the mark SKY, was seeking to prevent Microsoft from using SkyDrive on its cloud storage product in Europe during an eight-day trial in April.
In the judgment issued late last week Mrs Justice Asplin ruled Microsoft was guilty of ‘passing off’. She also decided that use by Microsoft of the SkyDrive brand was detrimental to the distinctive character and repute of the SKY mark which, in itself, amounted to trade mark infringement.
Mrs Justice Asplin said the average consumer, who was reasonably well-informed and a reasonably observant user of broadband internet services would have every reason to believe SkyDrive and Sky services were linked.
“I consider that there is a manifest likelihood of confusion,” she said, adding that the SkyDrive logo was presented independent of other branding.
A Sky spokesman told Broadband TV News: “Sky is pleased with the judgment handed down 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.”
In a statement Microsoft said: “This case is only about the SkyDrive name and has nothing to do with service availability or future innovation,” It continued: “The decision is one step in the legal process and Microsoft intends to appeal.”
Sky has held a series of trademarks incorporating the mark ‘Sky’ across channels and services. Between 2008 and 2011 it ran its own cloud-based storage service ‘Sky Store & Share’, which was discontinued in December 2011.