It was over ten years ago that Sky first raised an objection to SkypeÂs trade mark and logo registration when they applied for the registration of the figurative and word signs SKYPE as a Community trade mark for audiovisual goods, telephony and photography goods and computer services relating to software or to the creation or hosting of websites.
The word SKY was filed in 2003 for identical goods and services and it pleaded a likelihood of confusion. The Opposition was upheld. Skype appealed to the General Court, but lost.
The General Court said in conclusion:-
“Lastly, the Court confirms that account cannot be taken of the peaceful coexistence of the signs at issue as a factor that could reduce the likelihood of confusion, the conditions in that connection not being satisfied. The peaceful coexistence of those signs in the United Kingdom concerns only one isolated, highly specific service (namely, peer-to-peer communications services) and cannot, therefore, lessen the likelihood of confusion in respect of the many other goods and services covered by the signs. In addition, that coexistence has not lasted long enough to give grounds for the assumption that it was based on the absence of any likelihood of confusion in the mind of the relevant public.”
Roll on the appeal….surely this cannot be right?