Microsoft retains temporary use of SkyDrive under agreement with BSkyB

BSkyB and Microsoft have come to an agreement that will allow the latter to continue offering cloud-storage service SkyDrive in its current guise – for “a reasonable period of time”.

The two came to a settlement over trademark infringement proceedings in the European Union after Sky had originally taken out a case against Microsoft in the English High Court.

"We're glad to have resolution of this naming dispute, and will continue to deliver the great service our hundreds of millions of customers expect, providing the best way to always have your files with you,” a spokesperson for Microsoft said.

Sky added that it was “pleased to have reached a settlement” and that the company will "remain vigilant in protecting the Sky brand and will continue to take appropriate action against those companies who seek to use our trade mark without consent”.

As part of the agreement, Microsoft must abandon its planned appeal, and the press release states that it “reflects the desire of both companies to focus on joint projects to benefit their customers”.

Microsoft is still required to change over to a new brand, and the “reasonable period of time” stated is to allow SkyDrive “an orderly transition to a new brand”.

This court battle started when BSkyB went to the high court to argue Microsoft had infringed on its trademarks by using the word Sky in the branding for its cloud-storage service. Mrs Justice Aplin ruled in favour of the media giant in June and Microsoft was in the process of putting together an appeal against the four trademark claims “on the grounds of descriptiveness for cloud storage services.”

Microsoft unveiled a raft of new features for its web-based SkyDrive.com site yesterday that make it easier to store photos, including increased support for the viewing of images on a range of different devices.