At last addressing what has been a source of constant confusion, Dish Networks has filed a trademark objection against the estate of the late Dennis Hopper, opposing its use of the “Hopper” name that the satellite provider also uses for its ad-skipping technology. The lines between the two first irrevocably blurred for us all in 2012, two years after Hopper’s death, when his estate registered the “Hopper” surname as a trademark for a wide range of possible Hopper-branded goods associated with his image, like motorcycle helmets, leather jackets, and sunglasses. Unfortunately, Dish Networks had already registered the name “Hopper” in 2011—a fact that clearly was not considered by either the Hopper trust or Dennis Hopper himself, back when he decided to become famous.
In its notice of objection, Dish Network claims that the continued use of “Hopper” by the Hopper estate is expected “to cause confusion, to cause mistake or to deceive, with consequent injury to [Dish] and the public,” who have already suffered enough. Specifically, it believes that, when confronted with something like a Hopper-branded motorcycle helmet, the consumer will then mistakenly think they’ll be wearing a product associated not with Easy Rider star Dennis Hopper, but rather one embodying the iconic cool that comes from being able to skip TV commercials, like a freewheeling rebel. Likewise, Dish customers could conceivably press the “Hopper” button on their DVRs, and be confounded when it doesn’t produce a wild-eyed character actor who will then ramble entertainingly about the ’60s.
In the meantime, while this trademark issue is being sorted out, The A.V. Club offers this handy reference guide to discerning the differences between Dish Network’s Hopper and Dennis Hopper:
It starred in the movie Blue Velvet: Dennis Hopper
It allows you to skip over commercials in a DVRed broadcast of Blue Velvet: Dish’s Hopper
Please clip and save, and apply accordingly.