BSkyB challenges Skype over "Sky" brand name

If defeated in European Court Skype could be banned from trading under its original name

BSkyB has legally challenged the internet voice call service provider, Skype, over the use of the word "Sky" in its brand name in the European Union, India, Norway and Brazil.

"The key contention in the dispute is that the brands 'Sky' and 'Skype' will be considered confusingly similar by members of the public," said a spokesman for BSkyB, which is 39.1 per cent owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, and which is marketed as "Sky".

Skype on Monday revealed BSkyB's objections while announcing plans to raise $100m in an initial public offering. The voice call company said that it has won the right to use the "Sky" name in Switzerland, Turkey and Brazil, but that the European Union has ruled against it.

Skype has said it will appeal the ruling by the European Union's Office for Harmonisation of Internal Markets (OHIM) that Skype's trademark and its famous blue bubble logo were too similar to Sky's name and branding.

If defeated in court, Skype could be barred from trading under its own name.