Digital Satellite Connections v. Dish Network

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP has secured a key appellate victory for satellite and streaming television provider DISH Network LLC in a trademark infringement action brought by a former retailer over the domain name and trademark rights.

The retailer, Digital Satellite Connections, registered the domain name in the 1990s, but DISH defeated its infringement claims and obtained the transfer of the domain, which was upheld in a decision Friday, Aug. 10, by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

This important win allows DISH to use, for the first time, the domain name for its internet service business.

When DISH entered the internet service business, it called its service dishNET. DISH was immediately sued by Digital Satellite Connections, which had registered the domain name and claimed prior rights in the DISHNET mark. DISH then counterclaimed for breach of the DISH trademark, breach of the retailer agreement, and related claims.

On the eve of trial, the district court granted summary judgment in favor of DISH, dismissing all of the retailer’s claims and awarding DISH the domain. The retailer appealed to the Tenth Circuit, which heard oral arguments in March and upheld the district court’s ruling on Friday.

Hunton Andrews Kurth partner Susan A. Smith (Picture) led the team for DISH, working alongside partners Edward T. Colbert and Stuart A. Raphael, counsel Erik C. Kane and William M. Merone, associate Andrew D. Kasnevich, and paralegal Daria DeLizio.

Involved fees earner: Susan Smith – Hunton Andrew Kurth; Edward Colbert – Hunton Andrew Kurth; Erik Kane – Hunton Andrew Kurth; William Merone – Hunton Andrew Kurth; Andrew Kasnevich – Hunton Andrew Kurth; Stuart Raphael – Hunton Andrew Kurth;

Law Firms: Hunton Andrew Kurth;

Clients: DISH Network LLC;

Author: Ambrogio Visconti