The problem with words is that sometimes they can sound all too similar. An EU court has decided that’s certainly the case for Skype, which apparently sounds too much like the name of broadcaster Sky.
“Conceptually, the figurative element conveys no concept, except perhaps that of a cloud. [That] would further increase the likelihood of the element ‘Sky’ being recognised within the word element ‘Skype’, for clouds are to be found ‘in the sky’ and thus may readily be associated with the word ‘sky’.”
Right. The case was the culmination of complaints originally made in 2005 by the Sky TV broadcasting company. While the ruling will stop Microsoft from registering a trademark for Skype’s name and logo, it won’t stop them being able to use the name. Which is something.
Image by jorge.correa under Creative Commons licence