Dish, NCR Spar Over Blockbuster Brand for Rental Kiosks
Dish Network Corp., the U.S. satellite-TV provider that acquired Blockbuster Inc. last month, told NCR Corp. that its contract to license the Blockbuster name on movie-rental kiosks is invalid. Dish rejected the contract as part of Blockbuster's court- ordered bankruptcy proceedings and sent NCR a termination letter, expressing its intent on ending the pact, NCR spokesman Jeff Dudash said. NCR disagrees with Dish's conclusion that the contract is void, and plans to continue to brand its movie kiosks with the Blockbuster Express name, Dudash said. "There will be legal proceedings to address this that will come up at the end of the month," Dudash said. No lawsuits have been filed yet by either company. NCR builds kiosks, often placed in grocery and convenience stores, that allow customers to rent and drop off movies. The company pays Blockbuster for the use of its brand and collects all revenue from rentals. NCR says the Blockbuster Express name, design and related trademarks are held by a trust that wasn't part of Blockbuster's bankruptcy filing. Duluth, Georgia-based NCR has branded more than 9,000 kiosks with the Blockbuster name, Dudash said. If Dish successfully voids the contract, the Englewood, Colorado-based company will decide whether it wants to own the kiosk business, renegotiate deal terms with NCR or find another company that makes kiosks to license the name.
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