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Microsoft Will Have To Rename SkyDrive

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the sorry-about-your-luck dept.

Microsoft 274

SmartAboutThings writes "A month ago, Microsoft was involved in a legal battle in the United Kingdom, when the court found that there was a conflict between Microsoft's SkyDrive and a trademark owned by the British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB). Back then, the UK court ruled that Microsoft was infringing the BSkyB's trademark. And now we have confirmation that Microsoft will be forced to change the SkyDrive brand name. This is quite a big branding issue for Microsoft. What are they going to call it? DriveSky? And chances are that the name change will be worldwide and not only in the United Kingdom."

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274 comments

FlyDrive would be a better name (3, Interesting)

jkrise (535370) | about 9 months ago | (#44437713)

or just F-Drive; C and D are your disk drives; E is the USB drive; so F-Drive is the Cloud storage drive letter.

Re:FlyDrive would be a better name (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44437897)

Sorry, but on my machine, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, Q, R, S, Y, and Z, are already in use.

Instead, they should make it A:\ -- and when it goes down for some reason, the error message can be:

Not ready reading drive A
Abort, Retry, Fail?

Re:FlyDrive would be a better name (5, Funny)

BLToday (1777712) | about 9 months ago | (#44437951)

How about Drive Eh? For our Canadian friends.

So it would be:
Not ready reading drive Eh
Abort, Retry, Fail?

Re:FlyDrive would be a better name (1)

armanox (826486) | about 9 months ago | (#44438043)

Shouldn't it be:

General Failure reading drive A
Abort, Retry, Fail?

Re: FlyDrive would be a better name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44438405)

Wow, you are thick, eh?

Re:FlyDrive would be a better name (1)

lgw (121541) | about 9 months ago | (#44438099)

Sorry, but on my machine, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, Q, R, S, Y, and Z, are already in use.

Instead, they should make it A:\ -- and when it goes down for some reason, the error message can be:

Not ready reading drive A
Abort, Retry, Fail?

That is quite awesome. I'd use it just for that!

Given how frequently Microsoft web products have been rebranded so far (rebranding everything to "Live" and then moving away from that), I'm not sure how much this rename will really matter.

Good to see (0, Troll)

trifish (826353) | about 9 months ago | (#44437717)

The arrogance of a big player is punished when deserved. They certainly did have enough money to examine markets as big the UK for potential infringement of a new brand they wanted to introduce.

Re:Good to see (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 9 months ago | (#44437799)

And probably concluded that either they didn't infringe, or that they could steamroll anyone else.

Or, they only did the search in the US and just assumed they'd be fine.

Re:Good to see (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about 9 months ago | (#44438173)

And probably concluded that either they didn't infringe, or that they could steamroll anyone else.

Or, they only did the search in the US and just assumed they'd be fine.

This seems to be a recurring problem with Microsoft.
They got into trademark trouble over the name Metro
Now trademark trouble over the name SkyDrive.
There are many other examples where they are very unfocused.

Re:Good to see (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 9 months ago | (#44438433)

you know, that Microsoft needs is a marketing department that doesn't just say "its called .net, lets put the word .net on everything, Office.net, Visual Studio.net, SQLServer.net"... then, when showed that was such a mess they said "the new API is called WinRT, I know lets call the operating systems Windows RT too, no-one will be confused at that!", followed shortly by "can we get Bill back to do another advert where he wiggles his ass while holding a big sausage?"

Maybe they should stop getting drunk all the time and do some fricking professional marketing-type work.

Re:Good to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44437825)

So you support Rupert Murdoch over Microsoft, I'm not so sure, I think MS should railroad this and drag it out in court if necessary.

Re:Good to see (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44437841)

The arrogance of a big player is punished when deserved.

Because Sky Broadcasting is such a small timer...

No arrogance here, just the assumption that people could tell the difference between a media conglomerate with an overreaching opinion of its' self worth and some cloud service.

Re:Good to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44437871)

Agreed.

Some people have a heart warming passion for auto bashing MS where there is little or no merit for doing so, and making themselves look complete douchbag for doing so.

Re:Good to see (0)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 9 months ago | (#44438313)

just the assumption that people could tell the difference between a media conglomerate with an overreaching opinion of its' self worth and some other conglomerate with an overreaching opinion of its' self worth .

there, FTFY.

Re:Good to see (4, Informative)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about 9 months ago | (#44437869)

Murdoch vs Microsoft, IMHO Murdoch is worse. At least Microsoft isn't actively trying to subvert political processes through media control.

Re:Good to see (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44438233)

At least Microsoft isn't actively trying to subvert political processes through media control.

It is funny that this was one of their stated reasons for exiting from the MSNBC partnership.

Re:Good to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44438265)

Whenever I read statements like this grossly exaggerating the power of media barons I imagine some sofa pundit who waves his fist at Murdoch while flipping the channel to watch The Simpsons.

Re:Good to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44437911)

Considering Sky is controlled by Rupert Murdoch, it's not really a David and Goliath scenario.

Re:Good to see (2)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 9 months ago | (#44437937)

'cept in this case it seems that its simply the word 'Sky' that is supposedly trademarked. Sky Broadcasting does not offer any similar services in any markets, hence they are claiming the word itself. The closest thing they are associated with is that Sky Broadcasting owns a subsidiary company that has a wifi hotspot service. That companies name is The Cloud.

What the summary doesnt make clear is that Microsoft and BSkyB reached a secret settlement on the matter.

Re:Good to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44437961)

The arrogance of a big player is punished when deserved. They certainly did have enough money to examine markets as big the UK for potential infringement of a new brand they wanted to introduce.

No, they probably just didn't think that an online data storage solution would ever reasonably be confused with a satellite television provider.

Re:Good to see (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 9 months ago | (#44438013)

Same thing happened with GMail in Germany [computerworld.com], and with the iPhone in Brazil [macrumors.com]. With each country having their own system for registering trademarks, it becomes problematic to come up with a name that doesn't infringe on anybody else's trademark. There really should be a single, global registry for all trademarks, because, with the internet, every business is a global business.

Re:Good to see (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 9 months ago | (#44438447)

I fucking hate Microsoft. That said. "SkyDrive" does not, in any sane persons thought processes infringe upon "BSkyB". British courts are insane.

Re:Good to see (1)

LordThyGod (1465887) | about 9 months ago | (#44438525)

I fucking hate Microsoft. That said. "SkyDrive" does not, in any sane persons thought processes infringe upon "BSkyB". British courts are insane.

Nah, MS just shit on too many people, and few of them turned out to be UK judges.

Re:Good to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44438501)

So you're supporting big media over big software and you're also saying that this kind of legal dickering doesn't bother you....

I hope you remember that you're throwing out the baby with the bathwater the next time this happens to some organization that you're a fan of. And it will happen.

In the meantime I'll remember that you're a short sighted fanboi who just wants to bang a corporate or anti corporate, as the case may be, drum. People like you don't care about logic... you have an agenda and damn the rules if they stand in the way of furthering that agenda.

How about... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44437727)

MeTooDrive or Me2Drive. Since Microsoft only copies things that others do at this point, they should just grab the Me2 prefix to replace the G or i from all of Google's and Apple's products.

Re:How about... (5, Informative)

Desler (1608317) | about 9 months ago | (#44437987)

SkyDrive (formerly Windows Live Folders when it came out in August 2007) predates Google Drive by 5 years, Apples iCloud by 4 years and DropBox by a year. So how exactly is it a "me too" service?

Re:How about... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44438193)

Easy, because it's owned by Microsoft and posted on Slashdot, Microsoft is automatically a piece of shit who just copies other people and writes terrible software.

You would think because Slashdot as a community hates Microsoft so much that they just wouldn't post stuff about their products on the site and instead focus on technology that the community at large supports in order to give it publicity and notoriety.

I guess circle jerking is a necessity as a community though, otherwise how would people reinforce their own ego?

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44438261)

Google Docs was around in 2006. Just because Google rebranded to Google Drive doesn't mean they weren't there first.

Re:How about... (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 9 months ago | (#44438399)

Nope. Google Docs was integrated into Google Drive as it used that as its new storage engine. It was not a rebranding.

Re:How about... (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 9 months ago | (#44438441)

To add further, they were integrated together in 2012 a year after Google Drive launched. If Google Drive were the rebranded Google Docs they would not have existed as separate products which they did for a year.

Re:How about... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44438005)

What has Apple done, recently, that others haven't? Actual unique ideas?

Phone? Better and definitely more polished than previous models, but neither has really done anything new there... Rounded corners, pinch to zoom, bottom-of-screen-bounce? All previously done (but packaged oh-so-nicely).
Tablets? Likewise... 4 corners, touch screen, battery, cpu... check
Home screen? App Store? Music Store? Cloud?

What are any of the "Big Names" doing that hasn't been done to death already? Wearable computers? Google Glass, watch-phones, Kinect?

They are all moving forward, but what are they doing that isn't a "copy" of what's already there?

My vote: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44437741)

InfiniDrive! Bringing together of infinite storage, combined with infinite reliability, storage life, and ease of use. You can thank me later.

Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44437745)

When You Need To Conquer The Sky: SpaceDrive

YOU'RE WELCOME MICROSOFT.

like gmail in Germany (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44437773)

I guess just like gmail in Germany, where google had to make sure to always call it googlemail instead of gmail, because someone else already had the rights.

Captcha: sorrier

What are they going to call it? (3, Funny)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about 9 months ago | (#44437803)

Anything without the word Sky in it. So not "DriveSky"

Synonyms: blast, breath, breeze, draft, heavens, ozone, puff, sky, stratosphere, troposphere, ventilation, waft, whiff, wind, zephyr

ZephyrDrive, PuffDrive, BreezeDrive

Re:What are they going to call it? (1)

sjames (1099) | about 9 months ago | (#44438199)

Damned shame. I was looking forward to hearing about victims of a DriveSky.

Lack of Due Dilligence, or Hubris? (2)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about 9 months ago | (#44437817)

This happened before with the XBox name. It is difficult to believe that a company like Microsoft, bolstered by batteries of lawyers with copyright, patent, and trademark expertise, could have pulled such a boneheaded move. Were they playing legal chicken with the Brits, or did they really, truly screw up?

Re:Lack of Due Dilligence, or Hubris? (1)

Waccoon (1186667) | about 9 months ago | (#44438215)

Given how badly they screwed up the actual XBox hardware? Less reliable and more overheating problems than most laptops.

Re:Lack of Due Dilligence, or Hubris? (3, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | about 9 months ago | (#44438247)

Because it is not cut and dried. You can't just search for "SkyDrive" and then be safe. "Sky" claims it owns anything that starts with "Sky" in the same way that Microsoft claimed "Windows," and Apple claimed the letter "i"! [smh.com.au] (though they lost in the end... uh, at least in Australia?)

Re:Lack of Due Dilligence, or Hubris? (2)

steelfood (895457) | about 9 months ago | (#44438337)

European trademarks have always been a problem for U.S. companies, and vice versa. Except most European companies have the foresight to see if their product violates U.S. trademark before launching it there, and rebrand as necessary.

U.S. companies instead just go ahead and ram their products through without even looking. Then they wonder why they're getting sued for trademark infringement.

And on the same topic, Microsoft could name it Ding.

Easy to fix (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44437821)

Fixed with one easy change of letter: SpyDrive.

Re:Easy to fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44437893)

It might amuse readers in the US to learn that a recent complaint regarding Microsoft's "your privacy is our priority" advertisement was dismissed because the Advertising Standards Authority took it that "privacy" is not objective and thus the claim did not have to be substantiated.

ZuneSurfaceDB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44437827)

The lawyers have already cleared that.

Spydrive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44437831)

Call it spydrive, since it will have an NSA database feed.

Names (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | about 9 months ago | (#44437867)

CloudDrive
CloudStore
NetDrive
NetStore
WebDrive
WebStore

I just pulled those out of my ass in about 30 seconds and all of them appear to be taken already, but I'm sure someone in MS marketing can come up with something original, or they can license one they like. A new name won't be a huge problem, the bigger problem is any name recognition they had is gone.

Also, DriveSky doesn't solve anything because it was the use of the word Sky in the name that caused the trademark problems.

Re:Names (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 9 months ago | (#44437949)

Hmm...

How about NoDrive? It expresses my sentiment -and- manages to sound neat and cloudy.

Re:Names (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | about 9 months ago | (#44438289)

Huh... that actually does sound cool. Quick google search brings up a sourceforge project called NoDrives that allows you to hide drives using registry keys. Not sure if that would be a problem or not.

Confusion (5, Funny)

Tailhook (98486) | about 9 months ago | (#44437873)

How many Microsoft SkyDrive users will be confused by the rename of this product and switch to Dropbox?

Both.

Re:Confusion (0)

tgd (2822) | about 9 months ago | (#44438539)

How many Microsoft SkyDrive users will be confused by the rename of this product and switch to Dropbox?

Both.

If they lose two out of the 250 million active users, I think they'll be okay.

That said, I doubt very highly that they'd change the branding worldwide.

Personally, I think I'm going to register "thecloudstorageformerlyknownasskydrive.co.uk" and sell it to them.

I have a suggestion. (1)

intermodal (534361) | about 9 months ago | (#44437925)

how about DevNull? If they do a search into the name, I think they will find that there is nothing there.

Not an exact name but close (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 9 months ago | (#44437967)

What is interesting is that BSkyB doesn't have a "SkyDrive" product but many products named "Sky" that are in the same product category.

Re:Not an exact name but close (1)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about 9 months ago | (#44438071)

It depends on how closely the names are conceptually related within a fairly narrow field of use. For people in the UK, the "Sky" name is conceptually welded to the BSkyB entity in the field of consumer electronic services via network. No surprise MS got slapped.

Re:Not an exact name but close (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44438245)

To put it in perspective, .886% of the world could have potentially associated the service with another company.

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=Ratio+of+population+of+the+United+Kingdom+versus+the+world

Re:Not an exact name but close (3, Funny)

mrbester (200927) | about 9 months ago | (#44438281)

No one in UK apart from a stupid judge and a bunch of opportunistic lawyers confuses Sky from BSkyB with SkyDrive from Microsoft. Perhaps it should change to easyDrive as no one would confuse a cloud service with a car hire company either.

They should call it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44437969)

RupertMurdochIsanArseDrive

Call it by a traditional Microsoft name (4, Insightful)

BLToday (1777712) | about 9 months ago | (#44437989)

Microsoft Cloud Drive Storage Home Edition
Microsoft Cloud Drive Storage Premium Edition
Microsoft Cloud Drive Storage Enterprise Edition

Re:Call it by a traditional Microsoft name (1)

game kid (805301) | about 9 months ago | (#44438465)

Nah. They'll have Microsoft Cloud Drive Storage Tablet Edition (also available for desktops...and also the only one you can use on desktops).

mostly mist... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44438017)

VaporDrive

No (2)

tehlinux (896034) | about 9 months ago | (#44438039)

>chances are that the name change will be worldwide and not only in the United Kingdom

I doubt that very much.

Re:No (1)

dingen (958134) | about 9 months ago | (#44438091)

It has already been confirmed that indeed SkyDrive will be renamed worldwide.

Re: Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44438363)

>It has already been confirmed that indeed SkyDrive will be renamed worldwide.

I doubt that very much.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44438417)

It'll have to be renamed at least in Germany and Italy as well, at the very least. sky.it sky.de

Sky vs Windows (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44438073)

Microsoft must have realized that arguing "Sky" is a generic word, so is "Windows". That means they'd be shooting themselves in the foot by arguing that Sky (and thus Windows) isn't trademark-able.

AllURfilesRBlong2USdrive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44438079)

Or possibly AllURfilesRBlong2USdrive.net

Any chance this time they'll do a Google search? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44438095)

I guess Bing didn't find it.

XKeyscore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44438101)

I would suggest they use something fitting for the level of trust I have for them: XKeyscore

SkypeDrive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44438105)

SkypeDrive - Since Sky already tried, but failed, to sue Skype for the same thing.

Heavenly naming (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 9 months ago | (#44438167)

SkyDrive was way too fancy for them anyway. Based on coopting the windowing concept and calling it Windows, or Word (I forget what that does) something like...Cloud.

Ya that's it. Hurry up and trademark Cloud, Microsoft.

'Oh! Oh! I know! I know! (1)

BlindRobin (768267) | about 9 months ago | (#44438191)

Weesh... weesh... we should name it Bob! ', the intern suggested loudly with unbridled enthusiasm.

not worldwide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44438205)

Remember the GMail trademark in Germany? No name change outside the trademark's country.

Skype (2)

Keruo (771880) | about 9 months ago | (#44438275)

What about Skype?
It's old and established name for a product but it's run by Microsoft now, are they forced to rebrand it too?

Re:Skype (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44438449)

Maybe rename SkyDrive SkypeDrive?

You gotta be kidding me (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44438355)

Why do I see all of the anti-MS posts? Yeah, MS has been a bastard many times, but to be swatted because they dared to use the term "sky" for their product when some other company that doesn't make anything close to the same product also used "sky" in their names is asinine. I'm sure Sky has been used in product names and company names before bskyb. You're an idiot if you think this is just fine.

alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44438429)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abFJuqp867g

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