Murdoch forces worldwide Microsoft Skydrive rebranding

Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB has successfully legalled Microsoft into dropping the name of its cloud service, SkyDrive, over a trademark dispute.

BSkyB runs ‘the Cloud’, a free wi-fi network with hotspots all over the UK. During the case, Sky complained members of the public could find the branding of ‘SkyDrive’ – the cloud storage product – with the British ‘Sky’ brand. Some respondents said “Anything with Sky in seems to remind me of Rupert Murdoch and I don’t like him”, while another said “It’s just SkyDrive so I would assume it is something to do with Sky the company”.

Ultimately BSkyB laid out the more convincing case and Microsoft was ruled against. Sky was only looking to prevent SkyDrive from using that name in Europe, but Microsoft, instead of appealing, has decided it will rebrand the service globally.

In a statement, Microsoft said through its teeth: “We’re glad to have resolution of this naming dispute and will continue to deliver the great service our hundreds of millions of customers expect, providing the best way to always have your files with you”.

BSkyB said it was pleased Microsoft agreed not to appeal the trademark infringement judgment.

Several years ago, BSkyB ordered a VoIP company, Cloudnet Telecommunications, to change its name. BSkyB was furious because Cloudnet was getting better placement on search engines, like Google, and accused the company of trying to pass itself off as the hotspot supplier. It was forced to change its name from Cloudnet to Birchills Telecom.

In another case, the Independent reports, BSkyB took a US company to court over the ‘Sky’ pen – now known to us as Livescribe.

Murdoch’s Revenge?
TechEye hears Sun Microsystems once tried to sue the Sun for similar reasons.