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Rupert Murdoch Claims To Own the 'Sky' In 'Skype'

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the mine-now-I-take-it dept.

Businesses 186

Crudely_Indecent writes "Not content to own just news stories, Rupert Murdoch is now going after individual words! His BSkyB is fighting a legal battle with Skype, claiming that it owns the 'Sky' in 'Skype.' From the article: 'A spokesman for Sky confirmed that the company has been involved in a "five-year dispute with Skype" over trademark applications filed by the telecomms company. These are, the spokesman added: "including, but not limited to, television-related goods and services."'"

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186 comments

Hah! (5, Funny)

sheehaje (240093) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238142)

Seems they own the word Douche in the word Douchebag too.

Re:Hah! (4, Funny)

Zeek40 (1017978) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238278)

Seems they own the word Douche in the word Douchebag too.

I came here to call him a Douchenozzle, I stayed to sue you for trademark infringement.

Rupert Murdoch is the Larry Ellison of Media (4, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33239726)

A powerful, mean and hateful man - who's wealth and power have brought no comfort to his cramped and ugly little self. The paucity of his humanity is demonstrated with every pathetic grab he makes.

Re:Hah! SK Hand Tools owns the SK in Sky! (5, Insightful)

elwinc (663074) | more than 3 years ago | (#33239036)

Sorry, Rupert! The good folks at SK Hand tools http://www.skhandtool.com/ [skhandtool.com] have had a trademark in SK since 1921. I think you owe them 2/5 of all the revenues BSkyB have taken in since 1989.

Re:Hah! SK Hand Tools owns the SK in Sky! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33239344)

Sky & Telescope Magazine owned the word Sky in 1941, after assimilating two magazines, The Sky, published by the the Hayden Planetarium and The Telescope, published by Harvard University. Read about it here. [skyandtelescope.com]

Seems to me if anyone has a claim on the word, they would be near the head of the line.

Detestible Putrid Excrescence (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33239490)

Has been Murdock's since the dawn of time.

A man who will be mourned by no one.

Re:Detestible Putrid Excrescence (1)

DinDaddy (1168147) | more than 3 years ago | (#33239756)

He may have fleas.

Re:Detestible Putrid Excrescence (2, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33240042)

They will not have him.

Re:Detestible Putrid Excrescence (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 3 years ago | (#33240218)

The good die young.

Re:Hah! SK Hand Tools owns the SK in Sky! (1)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 3 years ago | (#33240470)

You think that is bad, wait till they have to pay another 2/5 for BS.

Re:Hah! SK Hand Tools owns the SK in Sky! (2, Funny)

ndixon (184723) | more than 3 years ago | (#33240930)

You think that is bad, wait till they have to pay another 2/5 for BS.

Subscribers have been paying for that for over two decades now.

Re:Hah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33241008)

:-)

Re:Hah! (5, Funny)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 3 years ago | (#33241264)

Next: Murdoch sues the UK town of Scunthorpe...

He's crazy right? (4, Insightful)

Tragek (772040) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238168)

I thought trademarks were related to the possibility of accidental confusion. If Murdoch thinks the average person will confuse BSkyB and Skype, he must have the most horrendous opinion of the average person!

Re:He's crazy right? (-1, Troll)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238386)

he must have the most horrendous opinion of the average person!

At least the left has something in common with him after all ;)

Re:He's crazy right? (4, Insightful)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238388)

he must have the most horrendous opinion of the average person!

The man behind The Sun and Fox News has a horrendous opinion of the average person?

In other news, grass is green, *** is blue.

Re:He's crazy right? (3, Funny)

PatrickThomson (712694) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238598)

If your *** is blue you need to see a doctor, man!

Re:He's crazy right? (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238832)

Hey, I'm just covering my ass. Read the fucking title!

Re:He's crazy right? (0)

cparker15 (779546) | more than 3 years ago | (#33241016)

Whoosh!!!

Re:He's crazy right? (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 3 years ago | (#33240072)

Or just pick a safe word that is easy to remember.

Re:He's crazy right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33239628)

Hey! Stop using ***! I've trademarked that one too
Yours truly
RM

Re:He's crazy right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33240424)

grass is green, *** is blue

Best Viagra advertising slogan ever.

Re:He's crazy right? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33238502)

I completely understand and support this lawsuit. Yesterday I thought to myself "I'm going to watch Batman Begins on Sky Movies HD" but instead of going to my TV I switched on my computer loaded up Skype and started chatting to my sister. The brand confusion is obvious.

I read somewhere that this has been going on for 5 years so Skype has been around at least 2 years before Ol' Rupe decided to sue. Aren't you required to sue over trademark infringements or you lose them?

Re:He's crazy right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33239012)

I read somewhere that this has been going on for 5 years

Gee, I wonder where that somewhere possibly could have been? Lord knows you didn't RTFA, but maybe, just maybe, you read that this has been going on five years in the fucking summary?

Aren't you required to sue over trademark infringements or you lose them?

No, you have to use and protect your own trademark, not sue anyone who might possibly infringe. Otherwise, I could start a company called Coca Cola, not advertise, make or sell anything to anyone but my mother, wait a few years, then start making soda and say "No, I'm allowed to use their trademark, I've been using it for two years and nobody sued me".

Re:He's crazy right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33238638)

Trademarks are not about confusion. The tort of "passing off" is about confusion, and is for the benefit of consumers. Trademark is about property-like rights being violated and for the benefit of trademark owners.

Re:He's crazy right? (2, Interesting)

vtcodger (957785) | more than 3 years ago | (#33239192)

***Trademarks are not about confusion.***

Maybe in Latvia or Nepal. In the US, confusion is an element. Johnson and Johnson's trademark on Band-Aid in no way constrains Stephen Ambrose or Randy Shifts from writing books called respectively "Band of Brothers" and "The Band Played On".

May I be the first to nominate Rupert Murdoch as capitan of mankind's first interstellar expedition? No way to get the explorers back once they are launched? Yeah, I knew that. (I also nominate Donald Trump as first officer).

Re:He's crazy right? (3, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238654)

That's one aspect, but in this case Sky is eponymous, sort of like Windows is. So MS could trademark Microsoft Windows XP, but not Windows. Sky by itself can't be trademarked as it already has a meaning which in this case is irrelevant because only a ham fisted fascist like Murdoch would actually even consider those to be confusing.

Re:He's crazy right? (1)

yumyum (168683) | more than 3 years ago | (#33239768)

Sky is eponymous

I did not know that the sky outside was named after someone named Sky? Or were you thinking of another word instead of eponymous.

Tell that to Apple (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33241444)

try calling something leopard or snow leopard or tiger.

though they got to use Apple even though the Beatles had it first

Re:He's crazy right? (1)

BigZee (769371) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238718)

It is worth remembering that although the company may be BSkyB (as a result of the merger between Sky and British Satellite Broadcasting) they in fact use the name Sky as their brand name. Don't get me wrong, I think this is rediculous but the comparison should be between Sky and Skype.

Re:He's crazy right? (1)

prefec2 (875483) | more than 3 years ago | (#33240476)

No he is not crazy. He is greedy. While insanity might bring you to heaven. This definitely goes in the opposite direction. ;-)

However, he is the guy who owns Fox "News" and sky. So in general he has a massive media impact.

Re:He's crazy right? (1)

TroyM (956558) | more than 3 years ago | (#33240752)

Crazy like a fox! Oh wait, he's already trademarked Fox.

Re:He's crazy right? (2, Insightful)

randomsearch (1207102) | more than 3 years ago | (#33241190)

> I thought trademarks were related to the possibility of accidental confusion. If Murdoch thinks the average person will confuse BSkyB and Skype, he must have the most horrendous opinion of the average person!

You have clearly never watched his TV output.

Re:He's crazy right? (1)

wall0159 (881759) | more than 3 years ago | (#33241332)

If you've ever read/heard Murdoch's rants against the BBC (and other public broadcasters) it strongly supports the idea that he views the average person with utter contempt.

hey (5, Insightful)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238198)

Whens he gonna die?

Re:hey (2, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238476)

Sad fact: whoever comes along to replace him will be worse.

It's called a downward trajectory.

Re:hey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33239900)

You mean like Obama after Bush?

Re:hey (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 3 years ago | (#33239950)

Not soon enough! Lets all wish ass cancer on him!

Re:hey (1)

Thurguston (1849954) | more than 3 years ago | (#33240536)

When somebody jams a wooden stake through his heart.

Re:hey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33240816)

He is already numbered among the dead that walk, a lich empowered by his arcane media empire to plague the world until Saturn claims Sol, Mercury stands still and Jupiter speaks of the seals of his power.

take my love..... (5, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238200)

take my land
take me where I cannot stand
I don't care
I'm still free
you can't take the sky from me

(Sorry, it's the first thing that came to mind.....)

Re:take my love..... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33238852)

What are you sorry about? This is Slashdot.

Is it too late... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33238206)

...to hunt down the doctor who dropped him on his head when he was born? You know, to get the doctor to put him back where he took him out from?

Who cares what Murdoch thinks? (2, Insightful)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238256)

He employs Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, the entire Fox and Friends team; and blames the internet for the fail of Newscorp. Obviously he's an moron.

Re:Who cares what Murdoch thinks? (2)

ian_from_brisbane (596121) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238856)

Obviously he's an moron.

This is the funniest and most ironic thing I've read in ages. I don't read much.

Re:Who cares what Murdoch thinks? (1)

mldi (1598123) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238940)

Well, it's for that very reason (first part of your statement) that he's doing so well. Have you seen those ratings for those programs? It's unreal!

Re:Who cares what Murdoch thinks? (2, Insightful)

locallyunscene (1000523) | more than 3 years ago | (#33239556)

He employs Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, the entire Fox and Friends team; and blames the internet for the fail of Newscorp. Obviously he's an moron.

I don't care what he thinks(which is not much beyond making money). I do care what the hell he does as a non-trivial percentage of America follows his "news".

Re:Who cares what Murdoch thinks? (3, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#33240138)

Obviously he's an moron.

The key thing to understand about him is that Rupert Murdoch and his businesses don't support conservative causes because they believe in conservatism, they support conservative causes because they improve Rupert Murdoch's profit margins. For instance, he doesn't give a damn about gay marriage, but is happy to stir up controversy over gay marriage so that Americans will vote in politicians who will cut taxes on Murdoch and Newscorp.

The expansion of IP/Trademarks (4, Insightful)

Manip (656104) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238306)

Isn't it interesting how the scope of Trademarks and IP law keep expanding. The original concept of a trademark was to make it difficult for the competition to pass their products off as your products, it had this concept of a "reasonable person" being confused between mark A and mark B. I think when we have companies protecting dictionary words and words containing other words that they happen to have trademarked it has gone far further than the original concept.

I wonder how long until someone protects the letter 'a' and then requires a cash payment each time you use that letter in your trademark? I know that sounds like an insane concept but if you asked people about what is happening today with IP and trademarks they would have told you that was insane too!

Re:The expansion of IP/Trademarks (4, Interesting)

JPLemme (106723) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238534)

Isn't that what Apple did with the letter "i"?

No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33238708)

The scope of government itself keeps expanding. Every year there are more laws, more crimes, more spending, and more power concentrated at the top. Since the scope of IP is directly related to and derived from the scope of government, it's no surprise that as long as government keeps getting bigger, so will the scope of their laws.

I Trademark letter E on the internet $0.01 per use (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238794)

I Trademark letter E on the internet $0.01 per use.

You bill about $0.50 and site about the same for it's text.

Re:I Trademark letter E on the internet $0.01 per (3, Funny)

mrsurb (1484303) | more than 3 years ago | (#33239102)

You bill about $0.50 and site about the same for it's text.

Well I'm trademarking superfluous apostrophes and you owe me big time!

where is the $0.07 for the e USE? (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33240102)

where is the $0.07 for the e USE?

Re:I Trademark letter E on the internet $0.01 per (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33240184)

I can avoid using that symbol without any difficulty. A full book "la disparition" is without an apparition of that symbol.

Re:The expansion of IP/Trademarks (2, Informative)

aug24 (38229) | more than 3 years ago | (#33240010)

There's an old Goon Show where they trademark the word 'Help!' and they go around pushing people into canals...

Re:The expansion of IP/Trademarks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33240298)

When I was like 10 I had the idea to trademark the letter A.

I never followed through with it, you just brought it back to my attention.

More stupid lawsuits? (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238374)

Whenever someone invented the trademark to protect the rights of the inventor - did they ever think it was going to end up with cases like this?

Re:More stupid lawsuits? (2, Informative)

Zeek40 (1017978) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238996)

You're confusing trademarks with patents. Trademarks are to prevent people from fraudulently claiming to be affiliated with a business. For example, lets pretend you started a successful, well respected business named 'Haedrian's Home Improvements' and trademark the name. If I try to cash in on your success by setting up a similar business named "Haeadrian's Home Improvements" then you could sue me for trademark infringement. It's to prevent me from ruining your business's reputation by doing shitty work for customers who aren't smart enough to realize that There's an extra A in my business's name and it's not the same company as yours. It doesn't matter if either of us invented anything.

Re:More stupid lawsuits? (2, Informative)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 3 years ago | (#33241536)

Infringing a Trademark - Passing your product off as someone elses, or connected to someone elses

Infringing Copyright - Copying a complete or partial work without the artists permission

Infringing Patent - Using a design for an invention without paying the patentor

Trademarks don't protect inventors they protect company image

Copyright doesn't protect inventors, it protects artists works ...

Sooo..... (1)

wedsxcrfv (1662699) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238444)

When is he going to sue Skynet?

Re:Sooo..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33238496)

I wish Murdoch sued Skynet. That would hurt him... a lot.

Re:Sooo..... (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238706)

Well, if the MAFIAA can sue bootleggers before a concert, and since we know when Skynet will go "live", he could probably sue anytime he wants.

Why? (1)

tycoex (1832784) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238506)

Why isn't there a big uproar about all these ridiculous patent/trademark/copyright lawsuits in any form of mainstream media? If my congressmen for the next election ran on the platform of severely limiting software patents I know I would vote for him even if he also ran for eating babies!

Yes but he also owns the merde in Murdoch. (4, Funny)

kipling (24579) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238582)

Yes but he also owns the merde in Murdoch.

mais oui! (3, Informative)

KwKSilver (857599) | more than 3 years ago | (#33239468)

very good. for non-speakers of French, merde means crap.

Re:mais oui! (3, Informative)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 3 years ago | (#33241222)

No, it means "shit". Crottes is closer to "crap".

Yeah, and apple owns the 'i' prefix (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238694)

What a joke! That's about as silly as Apple claiming that it owns the 'i' prefix for electronics. That battle was already settled. At least in the U.S., anyway.

Hearst re-incarnate ? (1)

Zoxed (676559) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238768)

This story increases my suspicion that Murdoch has a William Randolph Hearst fixation.

Fox in Firefox (4, Interesting)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238802)

What next? Saying he owns the fox in firefox?

Re:Fox in Firefox (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238954)

Shhh! Don't give him ideas!

Re:Fox in Firefox (3, Funny)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 3 years ago | (#33240098)

Oh don't worry. They'll have to sue these guys [sky-fox.eu] out of existence first.

Scunthorpe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33238868)

Does he also own a 4 letter word embedded in the English town of Scunthorpe?

someone needs to (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238896)

take that self aggrandizing pompous ass down a notch or two.

Has anyone checked to see... (1)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238918)

...if Roopfert has a trademark on eating a bowl of dicks yet? Because I seriously plan on suggesting that he do exactly that.

Rupert Murdoch believes limits are for others (1)

Are You Kidding (1734126) | more than 3 years ago | (#33238936)

How does this bozo think owning "British Sky Broadcasting" gives him a trademark for sky? If he gets away with this he will next go after British Airways and British Petroleum, followed by British Broadcasting Corporation and American Broadcasting Corporation.

It'll all be gone... (1)

tomdarch (225937) | more than 3 years ago | (#33239030)

Sure, Murdoch owns the "sky" in Skype, but you're not reporting on the fact that Stelios Haji-Ioannou and his "we sue over any use of the word 'easy'" wanna-be Virgin operation have laid claim to the "e" in Skype. That just leaves the "p", which, obviously, already belongs to Sean "P Diddy" Combs. But not to worry, the former Skype will be able to Trademark the null set, which is an extraordinarily powerful identity...

Hoist him by his own petard (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33239200)

So if Murdoch wins this, will he set a precedent that allows KY Jelly to sue him for the KY in SKY?

After all, it might create confusion in the market, seeing as how they are both in the business of fucking you in the arse.

Re:Hoist him by his own petard (1)

ralfmuschall (1782380) | more than 3 years ago | (#33240558)

Then Paul Graham will sue them both for the Y (i.e. S (K (S I I)) (S (S (K S) K) (K (S I I))) ).

Re:Hoist him by his own petard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33241634)

So if Murdoch wins this, will he set a precedent that allows KY Jelly to sue him for the KY in SKY?

After all, it might create confusion in the market, seeing as how they are both in the business of fucking you in the arse.

Love the post man -- made me chuckle this morning.

Encouraged by past success (1)

IRGlover (1096317) | more than 3 years ago | (#33239242)

His previous victory in proving ownership of the Try in Tripe (with the caveat that only when the word is spoken) has seemingly encouraged this attempt.

Sky channel (0)

sepelester (794828) | more than 3 years ago | (#33239290)

BSkyB is the British Sky Broadcasting, formerly known as the Sky Channel, with the "Sky" part trademarked in television. I'd say he has a point, but noone says "Sky" anymore, especially after they started calling it BSkyB themselves. I dunno, do trademarks change or become invalid after rebrandings?

Re:Sky channel (2, Informative)

redmund (955596) | more than 3 years ago | (#33239548)

but noone says "Sky" anymore, especially after they started calling it BSkyB themselves.

They refer to themselves as Sky all the time, in their own advertising. Ask anybody in the UK or Ireland who BSkyB is and you'll probably get nothing but a blank stare from 3/4 of them. They're known as Sky to the general public, they're referred to as Sky in rival advertising (e.g. not available on Sky!).

Re:Sky channel (1)

sepelester (794828) | more than 3 years ago | (#33240744)

Ah sorry. They stopped their broadcasts where I live several years ago, I guess I jumped to conclusions as we stopped referring to them as Sky. I guess they really have a valid claim after all.

Isle of Skye (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33239346)

I hope Sky win, and then the Ilse of Skye can then sue Sky for all its worth (after all, the Isle of Skye was around first!)

Thats the only reason I got sky, i though I would get a share in the island!

Come on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33239408)

Sue James Cameron about SKYnet. He's gonna show you that there where no special effects in Terminator...

(Capcha: Revolt?? In a posting about terminators??)

reply from firefly (0, Redundant)

Coraon (1080675) | more than 3 years ago | (#33239532)

you can take the sky from me.

My master plan (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#33239592)

I will create a company called "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwyz0123456789", and will by default own copyrights to ALL english-based written communications!

Re:My master plan (1)

scottbomb (1290580) | more than 3 years ago | (#33240170)

Or call it "www" and sue every website owner on Earth.

Re:My master plan (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#33240202)

"www" is only good for websites, and even then only part of them. My idea targets anyone who's ever touched a pen.

"sky" an Old Norse word for "cloud" (1)

squash_me_quickly (663285) | more than 3 years ago | (#33239680)

If "anyone" should be sued here it's Murdoch.... who is pretending that he has some sort of "claim" to the word sky.

One should sue Murdoch on behalf of all descendants of the Norse people... it would make quite a class action lawsuit !!

quickly! (1)

stiller (451878) | more than 3 years ago | (#33239684)

Get me a dictionary and a cheap lawyer, so I can register all natural language words as brands, including their use as a prefix for another word. Can be costly, but I think I win in the end.

Right, so... (2, Funny)

ITBurnout (1845712) | more than 3 years ago | (#33239784)

I own the "ass" in Fox Classics. So there.

Inaccurate headline (as usual) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33239802)

Interesting that TFA only mentions Rupert Murdoch's name once and that has him as the owner of BSkyB, yet the headline on the original article (mirrored by ./) implies that he is suing Skype when it's actually some relatively unknown subsidiary.

Well I suppose it attracts more readers than if the headline had said "BSkyB claims to own the 'Sky' in Skype".

The world is not enough .. (1)

niks42 (768188) | more than 3 years ago | (#33240248)

Can someone please get a grip of this man and remind him he is just a media mogul from Down Under, and isn't that dang important, or newsworthy. Somehow it smacks of self-perpetuating motion for a media baron to attract so much media attention.

TWINE? Huh? (1)

nikeair514 (1862148) | more than 3 years ago | (#33240682)

I thought that was Tomorrow Never Dies? The World Is Not Enough could be semi-linked to the BP spill in the gulf though. All we need to do is call Pierce Brosnan and get a hot Asian chick to take out Murdoch on his stealth boat before he tricks the Chinese and the Brits to attack each other!

Oblig.... (1)

spazekaat (991287) | more than 3 years ago | (#33240630)

In Soviet Russia....words own you!

Could Skytel have precedence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33241698)

Seems like they have been around a lot longer time than Skype, and maybe BSkyB (never heard of it before this article unlike Skype and Skytel). They have certainly been involved in communiciations a long time. I had a pager from them almost 20 years ago. And a quick Google search on business names with "sky" in them returns 63,000,000 results ...

RO

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