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.

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Companies: dish

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Comments on “Dish Protects Its Hopper DVR From The Dennis Hopper Estate”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

bernie barton (profile) says:

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……

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