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.