Who owns the sky? Not smartpen maker Livescribe, according to British broadcasting giant, BSkyB. Today the Guardian reported Livescribe has pulled their Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen out of UK stores less than two months after the product’s launch due to a lawsuit claiming the gadget breaches BSkyB’s "Sky" trademark.
Though non-Brits may hear “Sky” and think of that big blue thing above the clouds, the British Sky Broadcasting Group is the largest pay-TV broadcaster in the United Kingdom with 10.6 million customers. The company has fought for their “Sky” trademark in court before, battling it out with Skype in a dispute that dates back to 2005. BSkyB is also suing Dixons Retail, which stocked the offending smartpen.
A November 21st post on Livescribe’s official blog describes how the decision to name the smartpen “Sky” came from the device’s roots in cloud computing. The Livescribe Sky records audio and wirelessly syncs handwritten notes to users’ computer and iOS devices.
When LAPTOP reviewed the Livescribe Sky in early December, we praised it’s ease of use, free cloud storage and ergonomic design, awarding the product our Editor’s Choice distinction. Pulling the device from UK shelves so close to Christmas is sure take a serious bite out of the company's anticipated sales. U.S. shoppers can still pick up the Sky online or in stores for a suggested retail price of $200.