So long SkyDrive, Microsoft required to change name after trademark dispute


SkyDrive, most of you use it daily and love it. It’s the cloud service from Microsoft that offers storage to your files anywhere and anyhow. If you’re using Windows 8 or Windows Phone it’s also the service that backs up a lot of your settings to create a coherent experience. Unfortunately, you won’t be calling it SkyDrive for much longer.

Over in the UK, a court has ruled against Microsoft in a trademark infringement case. British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB) claimed that SkyDrive infringed on the “Sky” trademark. Microsoft will not be appealing the court’s decision and BSkyB will allow them to continue to use SkyDrive for a period as they transition to a new brand.

So long SkyDrive, it was fun while it lasted. Before you guys and gals shed a tear, the service itself won’t be going away, just the name.

What do you think Microsoft should rename SkyDrive? As long as it’s not something like Microsoft Cloud Storage Cloud Edition 2013 we’ll be good.

Source: The Verge


Reader comments

So long SkyDrive, Microsoft required to change name after trademark dispute



Welcome to what happenes when you end up in court with Rupert merdoc. He wins, and takes your house. I'm suprised hes not been given half of MS holdings tbh

Yeah, he want to sue his Creator, indirectly, for using 'sky' to define the upper part of the earth.

That's way too ridiculous for sueing that word, just for money?

It is absurd: Sky is too generic to have a trademark, especially the way it was combined into one word as SkyDrive. Maybe Microsoft can strike a deal with Skyy Vodka and call it SkyyDrive. Could be a cool marketing campaign: "Get drunk on Skyy vodka, then upload some naked pictures to SkyyDrive"

This is what I want to know. You can't trademark "sky", can you?? Plus, why do these companies wait so long to sue? How many years has SkyDrive been around? I think ms rolls over to easy on these things.

Unfortunately they can, and they wait longer because there's no point suing a minor product. The larger the product, the more 'damages' they can invent and the more money they can try to get.

WinDrive, WinCloud, WinNet, MsNet, Skynet (why not :D), in long, Windows Drive, Windows Cloud, Windows Net, and more; Windows Online, Windows AlwaysOn.

Not a bad idea. BingDrive is probably the only suggestion I've heard so far that I might be okay with, but I definitely still prefer the name SkyDrive. Hope they can find a way to keep it (say, by officially renaming it "Microsoft SkyDrive" or "Windows SkyDrive", etc.)

Totally agree with "Windows Cloud", see a few suggested this. It fits with their vision to share across (Windows) devices, and I think its comsumer friendly: I save my pictures in the "Windows cloud"....  Does MS have anything called "Win"?

Skynet is sadly vulgarized by bazillion business that use it for their name or their service name...

I am ashamed to live in the UK now!!!
What are they going to do with the james bond film, SkyFall
What about jumping out of an airplane surely that is still a skydive?
I think a new name should be BINS (slightly taken from Bing) - Because it's not Sky, and i like the idea of chucking all my documents in the bin

"Sky" is a very common word
"Sky" brand owner is doing TV while SkyDrive is IT network drive...totally irrelevant... :P
Agree with 'daveh101', why "Sky" did not sue SkyFall?

Andy while aboard that Delta flight, racking up SkyMiles, you can enjoy a copy of the SkyMall catalog....

Sky also have a very popular broadband service in many countries, SkyBroadband... You can understand how a non tech savvy person who uses SkyBroadband and watches SkyGo over their SkyBroadband, or SkyNews on the Windows 8 app, could confuse SkyDrive as being part of the SkyBroadband service... Don't you think?

Gonna buy lumia 720 or 920,but have a question - what happens if phone hangs,then how to reboot it if phone battery is not removal!!

Soft reset- down volume button+power key+camera key. If that doesn't work try taking it to a place that fixes phones.

Hmm, really? Could be my bad then, possibly it is a Nokia thing. It used to be just the one button, maybe they just changed it at the same time as upgrading and I assumed it was a WP8 thing.

SkyDrive was perfect! First we lose Metro, now SkyDrive... :( What, some mediocre male escort service will claim the name "Microsoft" next? :/

Wouldn't HTC just use the opportunity to throw a tantrum fit as well? I'm surprised they didn't for Xbox one (since its a word and not a number)

Tell BSkyB to go fuck themselves. This has nothing to do with their business model, as far as I know.

Bullshit IMHO.

If you need to crap on names, then it means your business sucks. Microsoft should've told them to get beat.

Stupid sky, whack production value for inflated prices... And you know how much they love apple dont you... Lets be honest.. Its Microsoft vs the world .

"British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB) claimed that SkyDrive infringed on the “Sky” trademark."
It doesn't make sense to me but what do I know. How can you patent the word "sky?"  And it's "SkyDrive" not "sky," so.....? *sigh* whatever.

Obviously i know about sky. They supply my adsl. I never even made the connection until now. Its crazy.
How about Microsoft network, or msn for short?

That's what I was gonna say.  Never once did I make the connection between SkyDrive and BSkyB..  This almost ranks up with forcing MS to remove Internet Explorer from computer in the EU.
MiCloud? MsDrive? 
lol @ Windows Azure Consumer Cloud Storage Services

Cloud Pocket is actually a GREAT name.  I think it is time we get rid of anything with "Drive" in it because such a concept is really old fashioned.

I keep swapping between JDB Facebook, the official beta, and the official... I don't know if it's something on my end but I only get tile and toasts on the JDB app... I like the official/ MS version but notifications just aren't working at all... Is it just me?

Air Drive? XBox Drive? Microsoft Drive? Cloud Drive? Wind Drive?
Freak, sky cant be used anymore. Thats full of shizms!

How about CloudDrive 2000 !!   :)
Seriously, I'm glad they will change it.  It was a stupid idea to brand a longterm product on a fad marketing term.    And no, please don't call it "CloudDrive" or any other fadish name like that.  
I realize it works from a marketing perspective (right now) and you don't want to call it "Internet Accessible Server Side Services - Drive", but "Cloud" and "Sky" is not going to be the term we use to describe such services in 5 years, just like we don't call the internet the "information superhighway" anymore or name every product with "2000" after it.
Good bye "Sky" Drive. :)

Yes, right now.  In 5 years it will sound ridiculous.  Trust me.  It's a fad term.  You'll be embarassed to even describe something that way in the not to distant future.   In fact, it's already getting worn out and sounding stupid to refer to something as being "in the cloud".

CloudDrive i accept not cloudrive 2000 its too last century, too common and wacky compared to SkyDrive. how is skydrive a bad brand. its better than calling it iCloud, which is too simple and common. 5 years time Skydrive will be a legnedary tech name. it will not sound ridiculous in your opinon. wait and see in the year 2018, they will still love the name SkyDrive.

@Spicymikey what would be your suggestion? I don't mind someone telling everyone else how wrong something is, but please have an answer to the problem.

I don't know 11B1P.  Something unique and not tied to someone elses fad term.  It doesn't have to have meaning in itself.  iCloud is stupid too.  Don't follow Apple's lead.   We all know they don't do everything perfectly either.   XBox is a good example of how to name something.   Cool, hip, and in short order, if the product is good, it has name recognition.  SkyDrive could be anybody's. 
Not that this is the only idea, but XDrive might be a good idea.  It themes with XBox, especialy since MS wants to make XBox a fully "cloud" based service in the near future with XBox One.

UPDATE: I see some others already suggested it.   It's one obvious (and good idea).  Someone said they would be infringing on BMW's tradename for XDrive on their cars.  Thats probably not true.  It has to be similar enough AND in the same area of business, to confuse the customer.  That's why I'm surprised MS lost that SkyDrive case. 
It was some court in Europe AND it only affected certain European markets.  They could have happily continued to sell the service as SkyDrive everywhere else.  Also,  If they fought it I suspect they would eventually have won on apeal.   Which tells us MS probably realizes its a stupid name that has a short shelf life anyway, and decided it's not worth fighting.  Changign the name is easier and better in the long run 

SkyDrive was a great name. It was intuitive and rolled off the tongue. Much better than iCloud (this is the one that will feel dated) or Google Drive (which for the longest time I thought was some type of turn-by-turn GPS driving application).

Xdrive would've been cool, but AOL already had an online storage service called Xdrive, so that won't fly (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xdrive_(website)#2000s:_transition_and_rebranding)

yep, scratch XDrive.  Doesn't matter.  It's not our job to find a new name for MS.  I know a lot liked SkyDrive. I think it was a clever, but not the best choice.  Obviously MS knows that too and isn't going to waste time fighting over it.  They'll find something better.  In fact, they obviously already have, otherwise they wouldn't have probably given it up so fast. 

I'd like to be as confident as you, but Microsoft is really hit or miss when it comes to naming its products. Some are quite good (Surface, SkyDrive, Xbox) and some are mindboggling bad (Windows RT / NT / CE / ME, Windows Live, MSN Messenger).

Rename it to SkyeDrive ... with "Skye" being a new Microsoft mascott to F around with companies such as Sky.

To avoid future lawsuits, just make up a word not found in any dictionary, earth-side or alien. Like:

MSCloud. OneSync. MSSync. MSSS (Microsoft Storage Service). MS13 (Microsoft Storage 2013).  Oh wait, that last one is a violent criminal gang...probably not a good idea : /

Most people I know hadn't heard of it anyway, and when i would mention it ("hey, I posted the pics of the trip to my Skydrive") they'd usually think I was saying "sky dive". So, what I'm saying is, a name change here really isnt the end of the world, as long as it changes to something good/better.

"name change is end of the world"..
Um, it is built into everything from XBox One, to WP7 to WP8 and Windows 8 and moreso in Windows 8.1.  As the migration to Windows 8 continues to happen, there will be more people using SkyDrive in the next two years than all other services combined.
And you think a name change is going to end it?
Push rock off head, and crawl...

Sorry, windows phone's shitty keyboard caused a typo. It was meant to say "isn't the end of the world" which should've been obvious anyway from reading the rest of the comment. :)

I posted a comment on another spot when this first came up and still disagree but I guess that's why I'm not a lawyer!! To me though just because the name has sky in it should not make it a copyright issue. Are they next going to sue the makers of Skyrim or how about Mazda Skyactiv tech or try "Binging" Sky Tech and see how much crap comes up are they suing everyone now for using the word Sky in their tech products names???? Smells like a bunch of BS to me.......

I'd say MicroCloud but anything with "cloud" in it will probably mean that Apple will go after them. So how about Microsoft Share?

That's a shame. I actually liked SkyDrive. Was this lawsuit due to Sky Broadcasting having their own cloud services? I'm kind of surprised there wasn't some licensing agreement worked out so MS could go on using the name.

Personally think this is BS! First METRO, now SkyDrive because the word sky is used as a part of the name. The next person who complains about patent disputes is gonna get PUNCHED IN THE FACE, because this is just Ludacris....at least patents are based on technology, but sky mentioned as part of a name......really...C'Mon Man

Oxford should just trademark their entire dictionary, sue the rest of the entire english speaking world for copyright infringement, get it over with

How long before someone sues because of the word "Surface."  Surely, someone has this blatantly common word trademarked somewhere......

But I work at BmicrosoftB. Copyright infringement, name yourselves Electronic Digital Service and Hardware Components Provider for Consumer and Commercial Corporate Providers 2013, Edition Corporation.

Yeah, it may be a CloudBox later, maybe...

But, hey, the name SkyDrive is also the name I have ever seen on motorcycles made by Japanese motorcycle manufacturer.

I'm sure someone branded the word "box" already..
not to mention letter "B" in front of "ox"

How about MOACS...mother of all cloud storage...funny how long it took for me to even hear of this infringement case...didn't even know it was happening

How about BSkyDriveB?   /s 
Only lawyers and judges would be stupid enough to think that people would be confused between Sky, the broadcasting company and SkyDrive, a cloud service.
For a serious suggestion, I saw someone else suggest BingDrive which isn't bad particularly if they are building a bunch of services around Bing already. 

great, except that the accounts are no long Live Accounts, they are now just called microsoft accounts - live is going as far as i know

God I hope not. The live branding was horrible and it was a good decision to kill it.
SkyDrive was a perfect name and a great brand and it's going to be difficult to come up with something as good. It needs to have as few syllables as possible so that it rolls off the tongue. AzureDrive makes sense at one level, but it fails both of those tests. LiveDrive passes those tests but is just bad branding imo.

Well then shouldn't BskyB go after Sky Vodka? Lol I mean this is stupid idk why they would go after a name like Sky

There has to be the potential for confusion.  BSkyB apparently provides internet service so I guess I can understand how their customers might think that SkyDrive is a service provided by BSkyB rather than MS.  Products in other industries like SkyMiles or Skyy vodka wouldn't have the same issue so no trademark problem.  Just like the old Apple Records vs Apple Computer case, it was okay only so long as Apple promised not to get into the music business.

All this name stuff is ridiculous. I suppose I have to refer to the atmosphere above me by some new word now.... Maybe I'll call it Metro.

SharePoint 2013 presents itself as SkyDrive Pro to enterprise. Maybe they'll call SkyDrive 'SharePoint' now?

excuse me its actually Medicore SKY needs to grow some balls, because their pafetic ways of patents is not important. they nearly killed Skype back in 2010 before it was brought by Microsoft. You should know already if you read the story that is BSKYB fucking fault for this patent fued.

totally. this is so stupid, just for a name. suing for  a name. Its like im suing you for using my name on your birth cerificate. lol

Please don't call it BingDrive. I'd go for something along the lines of the Office brand. Microsoft Office Filing Cabinet.

I'm quite sick of that phone hacking life destroying company. Rupert Murdoch looks like he's melting. His wife should wear a straight jacket and his ceo son looks to nerdy to be allowed outside.

Do you pronounce it SinDrive? Because if that is the case I can already see all the Scroogle and apple people making jokes about it...