Talking tech since 2003

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for the Redmond software giant, they have.  According to The Verge, Microsoft has agreed to change the name of its SkyDrive service after it lost the case in court against BSkyB when a judge ruled that Microsoft was in fact infringing on the mark of the UK broadcasting company.

The settlement, which was issued on Wednesday notes that Microsoft will not appeal the court ruling and that BSkyB will allow Microsoft to continue using the brand “for a reasonable period of time to allow for an orderly transition to a new brand.”  The agreement also includes financial and other terms, but neither BSkyB or Microsoft will disclose those details as the agreement is confidential.

Microsoft has spent millions of dollars marketing SkyDrive over the years, so this is clearly a huge blow to the company, especially since the marketplace in which SkyDrive competes is super fierce with contenders such as Dropbox, Apple, Google, Box, and several others.

Another thing of note is that this isn’t the first time Microsoft has run into trademark issues with names of products, the original use of “Metro” to describe the new look of Windows had to stop being used over a complaint by a German company (Metro AG). While that complaint never made it to court, Microsoft did in fact stop using the term “Metro” to describe the new interface.

It seems like Microsoft needs to start researching trademarks more thoroughly.  We’ll keep an eye on Microsoft’s plans to rename SkyDrive and let you know how they develop.

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