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‘Dish Anywhere’ Trademark Challenged by DirecTV, Cable Operators

Pay TV rivals complain they would be 'damaged' if Dish obtained rights to term

Dish Network’s Sling-powered Internet video streaming service, Dish Anywhere, is not only being contested on legal grounds by Fox — the satcaster also now is fighting with pay TV rivals over its trademark claim to the name.

DirecTV, Comcast, Cablevision, Cox, Time Warner Cable and Charter filed challenges Wednesday to Dish’s claim on “Dish Anywhere” with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

They each argue that “Anywhere” is a generic term that other companies have used for related services, and claim they would be “damaged” if Dish obtained exclusive rights to the name.

Dish did not immediately provide comment.

The same group of pay TV providers, along with Time Warner Inc., previously challenged Dish’s claim to “TV Everywhere” — a term of art that’s been used generically in the industry for more than four years. Time Warner’s objection remains pending, while those from the MSO and DirecTV were suspended pending the outcome of the Time Warner appeal.

Separately, Fox sued Dish earlier this year over the Internet-streaming features in its new line of Hopper DVRs, alleging they violate retransmission-consent agreements and infringe its copyrights. A federal court Monday denied the broadcaster’s request to block the place-shifting features, although the judge indicated the broadcaster could prevail at trial. In other lawsuits, Fox and other broadcasters have argued that Hopper’s AutoHop ad-skipping feature undermines their advertising business but courts have so far sided with Dish.

Dish in February released the Hopper with Sling, which encodes and transmits a live or recorded TV program to Internet-connected iOS and Android tablets and smartphones, PCs and Macs. The satcaster has noted that Slingbox products have been available since 2005 — and that Fox’s is the first legal challenge to the tech.

To use Dish Anywhere, customers must have a Sling-enabled DVR (either the Hopper with Sling, ViP Sling-loaded 922, or a ViP 722 or 722k with a Sling Adapter). The DVR also must also be connected to a broadband connection.

The satcaster filed a trademark application for “Dish Anywhere” on Sept. 18, 2012, covering among other things, “Non-downloadable computer software for streaming audio, video, image and data information to a variety of network devices.”

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