Nvidia is in trademark dispute over its next-gen GPU name, Hopper
Nvidia and Dish Network, a satellite television company, are in a legal dispute over the use of the word “Hopper”. On the one hand you have Nvidia, which wants to use the name for a next generation of GPUs, and on the other there is Dish Network with its own line of Hopper satellite receivers.
Nvidia names all of its generations of GPUs after famous scientists. For example, Pascal is named after French mathematician Blaise Pascal and Ampère after fellow Frenchman André-Marie Ampère. To continue this trend, Nvidia is clearly looking to name its next generation of GPUs after Grace Hopper, the US Navy rear admiral and famous computer scientist who is credited with pioneering work on programming languages.
Fun fact, she also found the first computer bug. Like, a real bug: a butterfly stuck in a relay that caused errors in his system.
Dish Network offers a range of products dubbed Hopper for their kangaroo-inspired branding, such as Hopper 3, Hopper with Sling, and Hopper Duo. There is also a co-line of products dubbed Joey.
Fundamentally different homonyms then, but that might not count for much in the world of trademark litigation.
The crux of the matter, as our sister site Tom’s Hardware noted in its report, is that Dish Network holds a patent, filed June 5, 2012, for “Hopper” typeface with no particular font, style, size, or color. . The mark relates in particular to products related to digital receivers and audio devices. He also holds similar marks for the word Hopper alongside a little kangaroo, and Hopper Duo, and Hoppergo.
Dish Network believes there could be some customer name confusion if Nvidia were to proceed with the naming of its next-generation Hopper GPUs, and that customers might even confuse the two products – GPU and satellite receiver – as coming from the same company. Gracious kindness.
Nvidia first filed the Nvidia Hopper patent in 2019, although in 2020 it was returned to Nvidia by a trademark review attorney with multiple issues, including potential for confusion with trademarks Existing Hopper.
The dispute then continued throughout 2021, with multiple motions to stay granted, presumably as the companies try to reach some sort of settlement.
This grace period, without further extension, will end on February 22, 2022. If no further action is taken, the case will be reopened. Although it is likely that another expansion or settlement will come before that. At some point, Nvidia will actually want to release the so far unannounced Hopper product line, and it will need to clear things up with Dish Network before that.