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The satellite television provider Dish Network filed a UDRP last week against the company Digital Satellite Connections, LLC over domains which use the term “Dishnet” and “Dish Network” and resolve to sites that appear to be closely aligned to Dish Network’s satellite TV business.  The disputed domain names are <dishnet.com>, <dishnet500.com>, <dishnetworks.com> and <dishnetworksatellite.com>.

The well-known Dish Network currently has over 14,000,000 subscribers and over 34,000 employees. It registered its trademark for “Dish Network” on July 8, 2008 under Registration Number 3,464,055. The company’s main domain name is <dish.com> but it also redirects traffic from <dishnetwork.com>. The Dish Network has a line of satellites it has dubbed the “Dish 500”, and which it has used as a marketing piece to sell its services.

According to WhoIs.com, the company Digital Satellite Connections registered <dishnet.com> on May 12, 1999, <dishnet500.com> on May 28, 2000, <dishnetworks.com> on May 18, 1999 and <dishnetworksatellite.com> on May 18, 1999. Digital Satellite Connections does not have any federal registrations or applications on file with the USPTO for marks that are the same/similar to these domains. The Dish Network, on the other hand, filed a trademark application on March 22, 2012 for “DISHNET” and that application is still pending. Digital Satellite Connections appears to be using DISHNET as a common law mark, as it has a TM symbol next to the term and states on the ABOUT US page at www.dishnet.com that it is a trademark of the company.

The companies appear to have been business partners at one point – something we learned when looking for information on Digital Satellite Connections and finding a complaint from a Dish Network customer that was upset at having signed up for a service it thought was Dish Network (on the Dish.com website) and then found out it was Digital Satellite Connections instead.  Some of the sites we looked at say Digital Satellite Connections is an “authorized” retailer of Dish Network, others say they are not.