Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What's in a Name?

Rupert Murdoch Sues Skype Over Use of Letters "Sky"

A spokesman for Sky, which is 39.1pc-owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, said the company was trying to prevent Skype from using its trademark in relation to the sale of TV or internet service, because customer might assume that 'Skype' is part of Sky.

Here we go again. Does anyone remember when Microsoft attempted to trademark the word "windows," meaning that any homebuilder or renovation company which used that word in advertisements would have to pay royalties to Bill Gates? Because, as everyone knows, people are not smart enough to distinguish Windows 98 from double-pane, energy-efficient windows to be installed in their homes. Does Murdoch really think he can get the court to give him exclusive rights to use the word "sky," just because he owns something called "BSkyB?"

I have no idea what BSkyB is, but whatever it is the name is sufficiently different to Skype. No one would ever confuse the two. Rupert Murdoch is the most powerful media magnate on the planet. Now he wants to own the sky I suppose. Maybe he'll get away with it. Crazier things have happened.

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