California - In a surprising and unexpected move, Hulu recently announced that it has withdrawn its opposition to Dish Network's "TV Everywhere" trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Hulu and Dish Network would not comment on any specific details of the settlement between the two companies. However, in the filings with the USPTO, Hulu reserved "...all of its rights, claims, remedies and defenses with respect to anyone's ability to use and/or register the term 'TV Everywhere'."
Dish Network initially filed a trademark application for "TV Everywhere" in September 2009. However, the application was immediately challenged by top cable operators including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communication & Cable Vision Systems, DirecTV and Time Warner. Hulu had previously argued that Dish Network should not be granted a trademark registration on a slogan that was considered a standard industry term by most cable companies. Furthermore, the term was a generic reference that was already being used by third parties descriptively in commerce in reference to subscribers of cable, satellite and other television services.
These subscribers could access and watch video content on devices such as phones, laptops, tablets, PCs and gaming consoles, among others. In contrast, Dish Networks claimed that it had been using the term for a number of years to create a commercial impression for the trademark. Consequently, it asserts that the consuming public recognizes the trademark "TV Everywhere" as a source indicator for Dish Network's services. The term is also currently being used to promote Dish Network services for Slingbox products, DishOnline.com and Blockbuster @ Home hybrid services.