Dish Protects Its Hopper DVR From The Dennis Hopper Estate

from the hey,-man dept

Dish has already had a long and winding road getting its "Hopper" DVR first to market, then keeping it there. The company has been engaged in ongoing disputes with broadcasters, who continue to try and argue that the device violates copyright law because it skips commercials -- and generally provides consumers with interesting, convenient functionality that users might actually want. Fox had no luck killing consumer choice and innovation at the 9th Circuit, and ABC is currently in New York attempting to reverse a New York federal judge's refusal to issue an injunction.

While Dish is busy defending Hopper against broadcasters, it's also busy battling the obvious confusion people often have between digital video recorders and the deceased Easy Rider and Apocalypse Now actor Dennis Hopper. Responding to a broad trademark application by the Hopper estate (aka the Trustees of the Hopper Art Trust), Dish has filed an opposition to protect its ad-skipping DVR. The Hopper Estate registered the "Hopper" trademark in 2012 with an eye on "sunglasses, motorcycle helmets and all sorts of electronic devices." Dish itself filed for a trademark back in 2011 -- before Hopper's death:
"According to Dish's notice of objection, the Dennis Hopper "Hopper" mark "is likely, when used in connection with the goods covered by the subject application, to cause confusion, to cause mistake or to deceive, with consequent injury to [Dish Networks] and the public." Dish says it filed an "intent to use application" back in September of 2011 -- before Dennis Hopper's trustees, before TV broadcasters realized what Charlie Ergen's company was up to -- on "Hopper" in a class of goods covering electrical and scientific apparatus."
Surely after the dispute is settled by the USPTO, there's a middle ground here for both sides to jointly sell motorcycle helmets and a clothing line that somehow combines the edgy, quirky, rambling style of the deceased Blue Velvet actor, with the convenience of being able to "stick it to the man, man" by skipping advertisements.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Ninja (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 9:52am

    Motorcycle helmets that skip ads (ie: billboards) would be pure win, do not mock the idea!

     

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  2.  
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    St. Pat, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 10:02am

    Hopper was also in...

    He also starred in the Mario Bros. movie; don't let that one slip by.

     

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  3.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 10:03am

    Re:

    As long as we're on theoretical tech ideas, you could even have some fun with that. Have a 'They Live' type filter, where the helmet scans a billboard, and replaces it with some generic 'Buy Food', 'Eat More', 'Buy Expensive Motorcycles' style ads.

    Something like that would sell like crazy I'm sure, though it might also drive up accident rates, as people got distracted by the 'new' billboards.

     

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  4.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 10:04am

    Re: Hopper was also in...

    I'm pretty sure every single actor in that movie is hoping people 'let that one slip by' when they remember the various roles the actor has been in.

     

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  5.  
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    Michael, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 10:14am

    Confusion

    I'm totally confused. Is the Dish DVR is going to automatically skip all Dennis Hopper films, or just commercials for people selling helmets and sunglasses with his name on them?

     

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  6.  
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    Ninja (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 10:17am

    Re: Re:

    No. Replace the adds with hot chicks and I'm all for it! /sexism

     

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  7.  
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    Michael, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 10:17am

    Re: Re:

    The MPAA would send in homeland security to body slam you every time you walked near a movie theater with that thing on.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Ninja (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re: Hopper was also in...

    Actually the movie was so damn bad that I gave him a +funny for the reminder!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 10:20am

    Yes Indeed , When I don my "Hopper Sunglases" I feel the whole world skipping by like a bad LSD trip ,I'm way out there man. Then I slide my pure as snow 100% "Cotton Hopper Tail" on to Increase my Magic Mojo.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 10:24am

    In other news the Kevin Bacon estate says it should receive name royalty's from any company using the word "Bacon".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 10:32am

    Re: Confusion

    No. That would be petty, a trademark owned by Tom Petty. At most they could be bitchy, altho for THAT privilege they'll have to pay the estate of Leona Helmsley.

     

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  12.  
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    PRMan, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 10:34am

    Re:

    Especially if they try to cook the bacon at 6°.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 10:41am

    All goods and services in the class are opposed, namely: Motorcycle goggles; motorcycle helmets...


    8. On information and belief, the goods identified in the subject application are identical, complementary and/or highly related to the products offered by Opposer in connection with its HOPPER mark.


    Unless Dish shows that they actually intend to sell motorcycle gear, they should get in trouble for lying in a court filing. "On information and belief" is not a substitute for telling the truth.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 11:27am

    someone care to explain to me how i can set up my helmet to record a program when i am out, please?

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 11:36am

    Uh something is wrong here...

    "Dish itself filed for a trademark back in 2011 -- before Hopper's death"

    According to wikipedia he died in 2010.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Hopper

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 11:43am

    Re: Uh something is wrong here...

    Dish was referring to the zombie Dennis Hopper.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 11:53am

    Re: Re: Re:

    And watch the accident rate skyrocket as guys are looking at billboards instead of the road. I would be lucky to make it to day 2 on my bike with billboards like that

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: Uh something is wrong here...

    ...or as he was known during his post-death, I'm-chewing-on-five-starlet-brains-a-day-and-I-still-can't-get-high phase, the "Zopper™."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 12:08pm

    Re:

    In related news, the estate of Milton I (http://www.midweek.com/royal-hawaiian-bands-annual-meeting/royalband_2/)...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I am writing my legislature to get hot chicks banned from billboards. Not only is it profane (think of the children!) it is distracting to drivers!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    Oblate (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I don't think replacement ads featuring KFC would be any better received than the original ones.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 12:22pm

    Re:

    Thats easy, call up Dish to get the Hopper installed on your helmet.

    Kids these days, need everything explained to them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
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    Haywood (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Hopper was also in...

    Let's not forget Flashback, some of his best work IMO

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re: Uh something is wrong here...

    Oh, so Land of the Dead was based on fact, then. I did not know that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
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    Christenson, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 12:54pm

    and GRACE Hopper??? Cobol?

    Anyone remember THAT Hopper, computer pioneer, Navy Admiral? And what about my bunnies, especially those on chopper bikes we call chopper hoppers?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    bongo houzi (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 1:15pm

    I can't help but think Mr. Hopper is rolling over in his grave, unless of course, he was cremated.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
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    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 2:29pm

    I Thought You Can’t Trademark Your Own Name?

    How was that trademark granted?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    Wallyb132, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 8:33pm

    Chck your facts...

    Not that it really matters, Dennis Hopper died on March 39th, 2010. If Dish filed for the trademark in 2011, Mr. Hopper was long since pushing up daisies....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 4:44am

    Re: Chck your facts...

    March 39th? What kind of calendar are you using? A Hollywood calendar?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
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    bernie barton (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 11:31pm

    dish is anticonsumer

    I am a former, and disgruntled, dish network dealer....dish has systematically forced the very people who deliver satisfaction, local independent satellite dealers, out of business with their rapacious policies.....good luck today getting someone whom you can trust for years of service excellence....dish has also been rated 'the worst company in America to work for'(businessweek)....thank heavens I never worked for them directly, but as subject to their boundless greed, and the lack of any alternative service providers other than the equally-dubious directv, I am currently out of a 25-yr self-directed business and into an entry-level factory position.....

    'hopper' is a piece of crap....i'd long derided them for not doing a 'whole house' dvr unit, but this thing is not any answer I would have done.....and as far as the automatic ad-skipping, it doesn't add up lawfully....it's beyond the bounds of the Betamax decision which allowed for home recording....dish's previous dvr's required the user to specify each show or series of shows to be recorded, and they were then recorded in real time....what they're doing with 'hopper' is to THEMSELVES record only CERTAIN content (broadcast nets in prime time) and then REBROADCAST it hours later for download to the hoppers, with their own inserted 'cues' as to when to skip forward and how far....yes, they sit there during those meantime, manually flagging the ads....completely illegal under the copyright act, and I don't see how the courts did not seem to get that, but then the courts are pretty sketchy anymore.....even w/o the alterations to the content, you can't rebroadcast w/o permission......

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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