Microsoft loses trademark suit: It will now be forced to rename SkyDrive

Microsoft will be forced to rename its SkyDrive cloud storage service after failing to defend its trademark against U.K. broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting.

BSkyB, as the service is more commonly called, filed suit against Microsoft in 2011 in the English High Court, successfully arguing that the “Sky” portion of its name could be confused with Microsoft’s own SkyDrive, and that Microsoft’s use of the name SkyDrive infringed Sky’s rights in the ‘Sky’ mark.

In June, Microsoft lost the case in England and Wales, and failed on appeal as well.

For Microsoft, losing the case will have financial consequences, as the company will be forced to rewrite promotional materials, which have increasingly focused upon SkyDrive as the glue that holds its various software services together. Microsoft hasn’t said how much it will all cost, but will probably provide an accounting in subsequent earnings reports, if the amount is materially significant.

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