Murdoch and Sky go on warpath with Skype

Not content with burning its bridges with Virgin, Sky is now picking fights with Skype.

Rupert Murdoch has gone on the warpath with the internet telephony provider claiming that it owns the “Sky” in “Skype”.

The issue was highlighted  in an IPO filing by Skype, which yesterday announced its 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.

Neither would comment when we contacted them citing that this was an “ongoing issue” however, under the “risks” section of the IPO filing Skype confirmed that it is facing various challenges to its trademark applications around the world, including one in Europe from Sky.

Sky has been after Skype since 2006, where it has opposed various Skype trademark applications, and so far Skype has battled against such claims from other countries including Switzerland, Turkey and Brazil.

However the European case is still active and the IPO document reveals that Skype has a “negative first instance decision” on the case.

And if it loses the decision could spell trouble for the company. It said in the IPO filing that if it is not able to trademark its logo in some markets, it will make it easier for rivals to use the Skype brand without permission.

It said: “We regard our brand as one of our most valuable assets. The unlicensed use of our brand by third parties could harm our reputation, cause confusion among our users, and severely undermine the value of our brand in the marketplace.”

Should Sky win its trademark action, then Skype could have to pay licence fees to the satellite broadcaster to continue using the Skype name and logo.

As far as we know BSkyB is not filing any legal action against the Isle of Skye.