British Sky Broadcasting Group and Microsoft today announced that they have settled the trademark infringement arguments in Europe that Sky brought against Microsoft in an English court. As a result of this, Microsoft will have to find a new name for its cloud storage service SkyDrive. Sky will allow Microsoft to continue using the name for a “transition period,” but after that, Microsoft needs to rebrand the service. It’s not clear when Microsoft plans to announce the new name.
Earlier this month, the English High Court found that Microsoft’s use of the term SkyDrive infringed on Sky’s right to the “Sky” trademark. While Microsoft could have appealed the ruling, the company chose to settle the case and has agreed not to go ahead with an appeal. The settlement includes some financial terms, but the details of these are under wraps.
“We’re glad to have resolution of this naming dispute, and will continue to deliver the great service our hundreds of millions of customers expect, providing the best way to always have your files with you,” Microsoft said in a canned statement today. We asked Microsoft for further clarification, but except for this statement, the company isn’t commenting on today’s announcement.
All of this will sound awfully familiar to anybody who has followed Microsoft’s brands in the past. The Windows 8 Metro interface, after all, had just become a household name before the launch of Microsoft’s new operating system when the company had to change it because of what most pundits assume was a trademark dispute with Germany’s Metro AG. Today, nobody knows what to call the Windows 8 interface, its apps and design language, so most people still call it “Metro.”