12 August 2010

News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch: We Own the 'Sky' in Skype


What next? Firefox?

Rupert Murdoch claims to own the 'Sky' in 'Skype'
by Kevin Rawlinson

Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB is fighting a legal battle with the internet telecommunications pioneer Skype, claiming that it owns the “Sky” in “Skype”.

Skype yesterday announced that it plans to float on the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York. BSkyB’s legal challenge to Skype using its name within the EU was revealed in the 250-page document announcing the intended flotation.

Skype notes that its applications “in respect of the Skype name are being opposed by BSkyB plc”.

The company says that it has won the right to use its name in Switzerland, Turkey and Brazil, but that the European Union has ruled against it. Skype intends to appeal the decision “if necessary to the General Court at the Court of Justice of the European Community”.

If defeated in court, the company could be barred from trading under its own name if it is found to be in competition with Sky. The two companies operate in the field of telephony and could, therefore, be considered competitors, leading to possible confusion in the market-place.


The Name Inspector, a company name analyst blog, told paidContent:UK: “On the Skype forum, an employee reveals that the name was derived from the expression sky peer-to-peer.

“Some people might interpret Skype as a more conventional blend of sky with something that rhymes with Skype, like hype–or pipe, ripe, type, wipe.”

A spokesman for Sky confirmed that the company has been involved in a “five-year dispute with Skype” over trademark applications filed by the telecomms company. These are, the spokesman added: “including, but not limited to, television-related goods and services.

“The key contention in the dispute is that the brands ‘Sky’ and ‘Skype’ will be considered confusingly similar by members of the public. This was supported by consumer research conducted by Sky, and which was taken into account by the relevant authorities when they recently found in Sky’s favour.

Sky pointed out that, at this stage it has not brought any proceedings for trade mark infringement against Skype and its action is aimed at seeking assurances that Skype will not register trademarks in areas where it would come into competition with Sky.

In the document, filed earlier this week, Skype noted that, if it were unsuccessful in registering its trademark, it “may have a material adverse effect on our business. Moreover, a successful opposition to our application in one or more countries might encourage BSkyB or other third parties to make additional oppositions or commence trademark infringement proceedings.”


The document also carried the warning that, if BSkyB were to pursue litigation, the defence could be “costly and time consuming even if we were ultimately to prevail.

“If we were not ultimately to prevail in any such litigation to prevent our use of the Skype name or logo, we could be precluded from using the Skype name or logo in one or more jurisdictions without obtaining a license from BSkyB or such other third parties, which license may not be available on commercially reasonable terms or at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.”

This newspaper reported yesterday that Skype, formerly owned by eBay, has 560 million registered users, and has logged 95 billion minutes of voice and video calls in the first half of 2010.

It was bought by a consortium led by Silicon Valley venture capitalists Silver Lake with Andreessen Horowitz, a fund which was set up by the web browser pioneer Marc Andreessen.

A spokesman from Skype was unavailable for further comment yesterday.

in The Independent

The most absurd legal case of the year?
by George Eaton


I have to confess that when I first heard the news that Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB had launched a legal challenge to Skype I thought April Fool's Day had come early, not least because the basis of the lawsuit is that the company claims to own the "Sky" in "Skype".

But it transpired that the case was genuine, and that BSkyB has been ensconced in a legal battle with Skype for the past five years. The news emerged only after a brief reference to the legal action in the 250-page document announcing Skype's Wall Street flotation.

A spokesman for Sky said: "The key contention in the dispute is that the brands 'Sky' and 'Skype' will be considered confusingly similar by members of the public."

To which I can only reply that I have never linked the two and can't think of anyone who has. But it seems that the EU has upheld Sky's complaint and, should Skype lose its forthcoming appeal, the company may be forced to change its name.

One wonders if others who have had the temerity to use the word "sky" in their work will now fall foul of the Dirty Digger. The Media Blog names some of those who may need to watch their back here.

UPDATE: BSkyB has been in touch to point out that the dispute concerns several trademark applications filed by Skype, including, but not limited to, television-related goods and services. It's fair to say that were Skype's name to appear on a set-top box, Sky would have a better case. But I'm sure most people could make the distinction.

Sky may claim its customer research suggests members of the public would be confused by the similarity, but the key question is this: did any of the people surveyed consider "Sky" and "Skype" similar before they were asked?

in New Statesman
Read as well:
Scotland Yard Announces New Inquiry Into Murdoch Spying Scandal And Then Abandons It Only A Few Hours Later

Murdoch Journalist Denies Murdoch Media Conspiracy

Ex-Murdoch editor Andrew Neil: News of the World revelations one of most significant media stories of our time

Three inquiries launched into News of the World hacking claims

Why Skype has conquered the world


22 comments:

  1. A truly greedy man...........may he rot in hell via Skype or Sky whichever he prefers !

    ReplyDelete
  2. 8-} History repeats itself, does it not? New times, new feudal lords. Flags (logos) are everywhere. Postmodernity is here to stay.

    You could not become a shopkeeper even if you tried. Rupert? What about Tesco? Continente, FSS (Fast Sealift Ships), you name it!

    Consider my existential predicament at the moment. A hunger wave caught me unware and I find myself washed out at the entrance of a nearby McDonald's which, to be true, is about the only thing in sight within my budget but you need not know that.

    "Delicious toasted deli roll with a spicy veggie patty made from a blend of chickpeas with coriander and cumin, served with crisp lettuce and a squirt of Sweet Chilli and Ranch sauces". I sort of liked the copywriting and for £1.99 what do my taste buds have to loose?

    Hello, pretty face. Could I have a....

    Hmm...it is not bad actually. It would go down better with a cool glass of "Vinho Verde", but never mind... "Coca-Cola" will do. Adapt we must.


    :p I wonder if the new feudal lords are not here to exploit us (as in the old days) but to serve us? Surely, there must be a catch somewhere but right now I am not getting it. "I love Mac". I think I will buy the T-shirt as well. Funny how ideology works.


    The thought for the day is: "Serfitude" is here to stay. Blog while you can.

    ac

    Coca-Cola® and the contour bottle are registered trademarks of The Coca-Cola Company

    ReplyDelete
  3. Other news:

    British PR firm whitewashing Sri Lanka’s reputation

    British public relations firm Bell Pottinger Sans Frontiers is working for the Sri Lankan government to improve Colombo’s international image, in the wake of its mass killings of Tamil civilians last year and ongoing rights abuses, The Guardian newspaper said this week in an investigative report into UK firms’ role in ‘reputation laundering’ for unsavoury regimes and leaders. "An investigation by the Guardian has revealed that [London’s] public relations firms are earning millions of pounds a year promoting foreign regimes with some of the world's worst human rights records, including Saudi Arabia, Rwanda, Kazakhstan and Sri Lanka," the paper said.

    “The doyen of this business is Lord Bell, the chairman of Chime Group, which runs Bell Pottinger.”

    Chime plc, headed by Lord Bell, Margaret Thatcher's former adviser, earned almost half of its £67m income last year from foreign contracts, up from 37% in 2008, the paper said. (...)

    more at
    http://tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=32346

    extreme graphic images, not for sensitive eyes on the bellow link
    http://www.salem-news.com/articles/august072010/srilanka-violence-mv.php
    ----------------------------

    Carter Ruck - libel terrorists

    Carter-Ruck Letter Writers Back on the Job

    Chicago blogger Bill Baar informs that “the lads at Carter-Ruck” sent United States Congressman Mark Kirk a nasty gram about Kirk dragging their client, Iraqi-British billionaire businessman Nadhmi Auchi, into Illinois Politics.

    The irksome article that may have prompted the CR letter was written August 9 by Abdon M. Pallasch at the Chicago Sun-Times in which he penned Kirk linking Giannoulias to Saddam Hussein. The Saddam Hussein reference in connection with Nadhmi Auchi is what literally sends CR-launched rockets into the stratosphere across the big pond in the UK. (...)

    more at Carter-Ruck Letter Writers Back on the Job and Carter-Ruck, Auchi, and Little Lord Fauntleroy

    United States Congressman Kirk receives a Carter Ruck Letter pdf doc http://images.kirkforsenate.com/Carter%20Ruck%20August%2010%20Letter.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  4. Fearsome or what!

    I know two children with "Skye" as their christian name - perhaps I should send a warning to them that they may expect to be sued.

    Are children to be included in Murdochs reign of terror!

    Should we ask these children when we meet up if they are set top boxes.

    Taking it even further - should we pay to look up into the 'sky' ?

    ReplyDelete
  5. UK Border Agency sniffer dog finds 25 stowaways on ferry bound for the UK: http://bit.ly/9jrh3s via @ukhomeoffice

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sniffer dog finds ten stowaways hiding in stacks of tyres on a lorry at Calais. http://bit.ly/c5TXvQ via @ukhomeoffice

    ReplyDelete
  7. Journalism the third most untrustworthy profession, according to poll

    Journalists are the third most distrusted professionals in the UK, according to a new survey by the Co-operative Bank.

    The poll of 3,000 UK adults put journalists behind politicians and bankers, but ahead of electricians and estate agents. (...)

    http://www.journalism.co.uk/2/articles/540036.php

    ReplyDelete
  8. #Journalism the third most untrustworthy profession in the UK http://bit.ly/bzWX5u The result of PR spoon fed spins on the #McCann Case and others...

    ReplyDelete
  9. PR Week Presents: Clarence Mitchell aka 'Clarrie, the pink-spinner'; aka 'Angel of Death' due to his necro-news PR jobs; also coined in RTP's Prós & Contras as 'the one who lies with as many teeth as he has in his mouth'. Last but not the least, the ever disappearing Clarence Mitchell's hair.

    http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid8894013001?bctid=540839036001

    ReplyDelete
  10. :-/ Forget about the McDonald's scenario from "Loose Screw" at platform 3...

    Comments 6 to 11 are what I call "food for thought"...

    Star wars? Sky wars? Skype can always go for Starsky - a stratospheric move. What's the problem with these people? Did their creativity dry up at the first million mark?

    It is very much as if the McCann's were suing McDonald's because of the "Mac" in it (just a little joke).

    PS About the dogs: That one was easy. They could smell their socks...

    Gunther

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is ridiculous nonsense and should never ever be even in debate. The word Sky was around a long long time before the self appointed God Murdoch (supporter of child neglectors - ne: Child abusers) appeared on the Earth and before there was a Europe!

    End this utter nonsense and end the power of the lawyers and politicians and their idiotic rigid and fallible laws.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks to Joana for the link. The link to the website should be sent to the Home Office public email as the opinion and facts about the PJ investigation are very revealing. The Home Secretary should be made aware of them.

    http://goodqualitywristbands.blogspot.com/2010/08/home-secretary-perhaps-you-might-care.html

    ReplyDelete
  13. "‘Sky’ and ‘Skype’ will be considered confusingly similar by members of the public"

    Dear Murdoch, I, as a member of the public, can tell you, I'm not confused witch is the useless Sky and the very useful Skype.
    Therefore dear Murdoch, you don't have to worry about me (member of the public)

    w_nicht

    ReplyDelete
  14. When Maddie case will be reopened and a deep investigation be done, the world will be knowing who was behind the letter sent to the Deutch newspaper claiming where Madeleine was buried in Algarve- Most probably Mccann's gang or Kate and Gerry themselves, to fool the police and the Media. Is that Deutch paper also part of Murdhoc Empire?
    The SUN with is natural "appetence" for fabricated news, was the perfect victim of the Mccann's PR machine. Churnalists working as freelancers were easy to buy for fabricated news. And the paper editors like the bank managers always look for easy money and good results. Madeleine was a wonderful story to sell papers and add everyday a new fabrication to keep the novel alive.
    Murdoch was fooled by the Mccann's and his cheapest churnalists. When we want to know what is going on the world with accuracy, we should avoid the fake Media of Murdhoc.

    ReplyDelete
  15. 16, you are talking about a Deutch newspaper( a newspapaer from Germany).
    I think you mean Dutch(from Holland).
    The words look alike, that is true.
    The PJ solved that problem.
    Somebody in Portugal made up that story and it has nothing to do with Murdoch, I think.

    ReplyDelete
  16. So he owns the 'Sky' in Skype.
    And why not ?
    The McCanns own the 'Eye' in Madeleine

    ReplyDelete
  17. Poster 17

    I am not 16, but I don't think somebody in Portugal made up that story.

    Quotes:

    De Telegraaf said the letter was similar to one it received last year which had indicated with some accuracy the site where two missing Belgian girls' bodies were discovered at the end of June.

    "The police in Holland are taking it very seriously because it looks like the same sender as one we received one year ago in another case of missing children.

    http://www.news.com.au/map-points-to-madeleines-body/story-e6frfkp9-1111113746001

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anon @ 19,
    And the police find very interesting books ( at Gerry side table) on Mccann's last Villa in PDL. The books were crime investigation books and a book about concealing cadavers. very interesting subjects to read in holidays and special to read by a parent which child went missing.
    No surprise if the letter sent to an Holland newspaper about the Belgium girls were part of the chap of one of the books. After all, UK police use the same books on their investigation.
    Even if not, a lot of people kept in memory the saga of the little Belgium girls and there is no surprise if a pair of opportunist parents get inspired by some precedent cases.
    The Mccann's also went to Holland on their trip around Europe and was reported at the time that they meet one of the Tapas 7, there.
    Holland at some time in Maddie saga become an important point- There was sights of Madeleine there, the letter. Mccann's have living their, then they leave friends and contacts.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I think that it is well remembered that earlier this year an American magazine successfully had a British blog 'tory-politico.com' removed from the internet as it infringed its copyright of the word 'Politico', even though this word has been in dictionaries longer that there has been an independent country called America. Also the McDonald's trying to get a Scottish court to force a Scottish man from using the name Ronald McDonald in his businesses title - a family name that is traced back to before Culloden!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I feel a 'little infringement" coming on :

    Sky Sky Sky Sky Sky - there I've said it!

    ReplyDelete