No New York Injunction of Dish’s Hopper System

     MANHATTAN (CN) – ABC cannot pull the Dish Network’s commercial-skipping system, the Hopper, while a lawsuit between the parties is pending, a federal judge ruled.
     U.S. District Judge Laura Swain filed an opinion and order under seal Wednesday, accompanied by another public opinion, denying ABC’s motion for a preliminary injunction. The public order also refuses to dismiss one of ABC’s counterclaims.
     She said she would make the reasoning behind the sealed opinion public after the parties agree on what parts should remain redacted.
     The Hopper lets TV watchers skip commercials during primetime shows.
     Dish had sued ABC and other networks in New York on May 24, 2012, hours before CBS, Fox and NBC filed their own suits against it in Los Angeles.
     Though the New York suit technically came first, a federal judge here found it “improperly anticipatory” and deferred to the Los Angeles court.
     U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain had said portions of the case would still proceed in New York since CBS and NBC did not assert contract claims in California, and because ABC did not filed suit against Dish.
     Meanwhile in Los Angeles, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee denied refused to enjoin Dish after finding problems with the arguments for direct and secondary copyright infringement.
     A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit affirmed this past July.
     After the ruling in New York last week, Disney-owned ABC said it would continue its fight. Both CBS and Dish hailed the New York decision as a victory.
     “This decision is yet another victory for American consumers, and we are proud to have stood by their side in this important fight over the fundamental rights of consumer choice and control,” Dish attorney R. Stanton Dodge said in a statement.

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