Microsoft’s Name Game.

So how much is a trademark worth?  A lot if you are on the loosing side of a trademark battle.

After loosing a trademark battle earlier this year to Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) in the England and W ales High Court, Microsoft agreed to stop using the SkyDrive brand for its cloud-based storage service.

The companies agreed that Microsoft could use the name for “a reasonable time” after the decision was handed down four months ago.

So what will be the new name of Microsoft’s product?  No one knows for certain, but hopefully the company performs more due diligence is selecting a name that will not land them in another trademark battle here or abroad.

This just points out how important a clearance search for a trademark is prior to filing the application.  Although the name was registered in the United States without any opposition, it apparently was not cleared for international conflicts.

If you intend to take your brand global, it is important to identify your target markets and plan your brand accordingly.  Issues often arise during the translation of a seemingly innocuous mark into a foreign language where it suddenly becomes offensive.

For instance, German makers of knapsacks refer to them as “Body Bags,” or when GE used the mark GPT for GEC-Plessey Telecommunications, the French pronunciation is  “J’ai pété” or “I’ve farted”.

So be sure to have your mark cleared for the markets you want to brand your product(s), otherwise, you may be making a costly mistake.

How Can I Help?

If you, or someone you know, need any help with Intellectual Property issues, from filing a patent, trademark or copyright, or just need advice regarding how best to protect your inventions, ideas or your brand, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.