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Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): The Cloud With No Name?

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has had its entry in the cloud-storage space with its SkyDrive service, which allows users to store data, photos, music and other digital files in the cloud rather than taking up storage space on a computer device. The concept of cloud storage has taken off in many areas and for many companies, with iCloud by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google Drive by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and the Amazon Cloud Service by Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) just to name a few.

But if there is no name for a cloud storage service, does it exist? We’re not intending to get into a existential question here, but while the service itself may not be gone, the awareness of the service in the public domain may be threatened, and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) may be in a position to determine that now that the company has lost a case where its “SkyDrive” name has been ruled a trademark infringement. There is a Cloud Nine, but can there be a cloud with no name?

Steve BallmerAt the very least, it’s possible that if Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) loses any possible appeal of the decision, that it might have to come up with a new name for its storage service in the U.K., where the infringement for the word “sky” was claimed by BSkyB, a company in the U.K.  that has used the word “sky” for years prior to Microsoft bringing SkyDrive into the U.K. Since SkyDrive came to the kingdom, BSkyB claimed, there has been confusion over “sky” and whether this cloud-storage system was indeed a BSkyB service.  The became the basis of the trademark infringement claim.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) counterargued that the word “sky” could be trademarked because it was already being used to describe a cloud-based storage services since at least 2008 and has become widely accepted as a term that correlated to cloud-based storage systems. The judge did accept the basic argument about “sky” in terms of cloud storage, but ruled in her decision that “sky” was used enough in the U.K. for other purposes that there was sufficient evidence of confusion among average consumers, thus she could not rule against BSkyB to maintain its trademark.

There is no word yet whether Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will appeal the decision, though it does have that opportunity. What do you think? Would the renaming and possible re-branding of the cloud service affect the company in terms of identity, and will that translate with investors like billionaire fund manager Ken Fisher? (See his portfolio here.) Give us your feedback in the comments section  below.