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New York judge denies request to shut down Dish Hopper

The latest ruling means Dish can keep operating the Hopper, which lets viewers skip over ads, in New York.

The Dish Hopper.

A New York judge has decided not to issue a preliminary injunction against Dish's Hopper, allowing the ad-skipping digital video recording device to remain legal in the state.

The ruling, released Wednesday by US District Judge Laura Swain, denied ABC's request for the injunction, which would have put a temporary hold on the sale of the devices.

This is another win for Dish, which has been embroiled in multiple lawsuits with broadcast companies over its ad-skipping technology called AutoHop. In addition to ABC, CBS (the parent company of CNET), and other companies have filed separate suits against Dish over its AutoHop feature.

A judge in California also ruled in favor of Dish in July by rejecting Fox's appeal of a similar decision to not serve an injunction against the Hopper.

ABC told CNET that the fight's far from over.

"Today's ruling is only a preliminary decision and the first step in the judicial process," an ABC spokesperson said in an e-mail when asked about Wednesday's ruling. "We continue to firmly believe that Dish's AutoHop and PrimeTime Anytime services breach our retransmission consent agreement with Dish, infringe upon ABC's copyrights, and unfairly compete with the authorized on-demand and commercial-free options currently offered by ABC and its licensees."

CBS, however, did get a small victory from Wednesday's ruling. The New York judge also denied Dish's motion to throw out the broadcaster's claim that Dish allegedly concealed the ad-skipping technology during contract negotiations. This means CBS can continue with its suit against Dish on this particular issue.

CBS applauded the decision in a statement sent to CNET.

"We are very pleased with today's decision, which allows CBS to proceed with its fraudulent concealment claim," CBS said in a statement. "This ruling allows us to show in trial that what Dish knew and what Dish said it knew are two absolutely different things and give reason to unwind a deceptive contract."

When contacted by CNET, Dish did not comment on the matter. Dish's general counsel, R. Stanton Dodge, did issue a statement earlier regarding the preliminary injunction.

"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," Dodge said. "This is the third federal court decision that has sided with Dish on consumers' right to enjoy television as they want, when they want, including the right to skip commercials, if they so choose."

[Via GigaOm]

Update, 4:18 p.m. PT: Added comments from Dish, CBS, and ABC.