BSkyB beats Premiere in court battle

'Sky' name is protected

BERLIN — Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB has won a legal battle against Premiere over the use of the word “Sky” in the name of the German pay platform’s new satellite platform Premiere Sky.

Premiere, which is launching the new service in September, will now have to find a new name for its platform, which will initially offer subscribers some 20 channels.

A Berlin district court on Tuesday ruled that Premiere’s use of the name “Sky” violated BSkyB’s trademark protection.

Stating that it will appeal the decision, Premiere continues to argue that sky is a general enough term that should not be protected. BSkyB has trademarked the name “Sky” throughout Europe.

“We continue to maintain our position that ‘Sky’ is a general term and therefore cannot be protected,” said Premiere spokesman Stefan Vollmer.

Nevertheless, Premiere is likely to launch the service with a new name as a continued legal fight would likely delay its start. Vollmer confirmed that Premiere was “preparing alternative scenarios” but stressed that it saw itself “legally in a good position.”

The court said that in view of likely confusion regarding the name, Premiere Sky was inappropriate as a name for Premiere’s subsidiary, which will operate in Germany and Austria.

Premiere’s new satellite platform will include existing as well as new channel that are currently not available over satellite, including Turner Broadcasting System’s Boomerang, Cartoon Network and Turner Movie Classics.

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