Murdoch claims to own the Cloud

Media Mongol Rupert Murdoch has chucked a spanner into the works of all cloud-based computer systems companies by claiming he owns the word “cloud”.

Digger is apparently the first person to use the word to refer to a computer system and has forced a hosted VoIP company, Cloudnet Telecommunications, to change its name.

Cloudnet changed its company name to Birchills Telecom following legal action from BSkyB’s “The Cloud” Wi-Fi hotspot provider.

What apparently got Digger miffed was that its search engine optimisation (SEO) activity was driving it to a higher Google spot than Digger’s The Cloud Networks.

The Cloud promptly began legal action, claiming ownership of the word “Cloud” and was seeking a High Court Injunction at an early date to stop Cloudnet “passing themselves off” as the Wi-Fi hotspot supplier.

David Hill, founder and Chairman of Birchills Telecom, said he was told by The Cloud’s legal team to simply change the name in case The Cloud decided to sell telephone systems.

“We provide business phone systems and cannot be simply mistaken for the Wi-Fi hotspot provider, and were in no way trying to pass ourselves off as them. We have now had to invest in changing our branding, marketing materials, emails and more, while keeping our customers happy and informed of the changes.”

There are hundreds of registered trade names including the word “cloud” in the telecommunications category and no doubt Digger’s lawyers are chasing them too.

While it is unlikely that the Digger had a legal leg to stand on, the costs of defending such an action were beyond the scope of most small companies. Birchills Telecom has not been running that long.

The company’s new website can be found here.