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 Post Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:56 pm 
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Hulu has joined a group of media companies filing complaints against Dish Network’s attempt to trademark the term “TV Everywhere.”

Hulu, which is co-owned by The Walt Disney Co., News Corp. and NBC Universal, Feb. 29 filed formal opposition with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and Appeal Board claiming TV Everywhere is a “merely descriptive” generic term that should not be owned by a private entity. The online repurposed content aggregator said allowing Dish legal rights to the term would interfere with its business platforms, which include advertising and subscription-based video-on-demand services.

Specifically, TV Everywhere platforms are designed to allow authenticated pay-TV subscribers to access on-demand (and some live) programming 24/7 on multiple CE devices around the home (and eventually outside as well). Its backers, which include Time Warner, Comcast and Time Warner Cable, among others, see TV Everywhere as an antidote to subscription VOD services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.

Cable and satellite TV operators generate about $38 billion annually from monthly subscriber bills — a tally under siege to some degree as video subs seek less expensive alternatives.

Engelwood, Colo.-based Dish, which owns and operates Blockbuster LLC, on Sept. 17, 2009, filed a trademark application for TV Everywhere covering all forms of TV transmission, including content delivered over the Internet, streaming, data transmissions and file sharing across multiple electronics devices.

The satellite TV operator, which does not sell monthly access to broadband or the mobile phones (yet), is seeking to trademark a term synonymous with changing technology in home entertainment and how people consumer content from the television. Dish currently markets the Slingbox and SlingPlayer to stream (versus downloading) content to mobile and connected devices in and outside of the home.

Meanwhile, TV Everywhere as a concept still is moving slowly out of the gate as multichannel video program distributors grapple with content owners seeking incremental revenue for ubiquitous access.

Ironically, Disney and News Corp. mandate that content earmarked for TV Everywhere also be available on Hulu — a scenario that doesn’t sit well with Time Warner and CBS Corp. CBS is adamantly opposed ad-supported Hulu but is a supporter of SVOD service Hulu Plus due to its higher paying content license agreements.

Of course, News Corp.’s Fox Network embargoes episodic TV programming eight days from third-party aggregators after initial broadcast — a reality that doesn’t sit well with Dave Shull, SVP of programming at Dish.

“I’d rather let [consumers] tell us where they want to view the video,” Shull told The Wall Street Journal.

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