Lulu.com Sues NBC's Hulu.com
It took News Corp. and NBC Universal five months to figure out a name for their joint online video partnership. It only took a week for them to get sued over it.
Content publishing site Lulu.com said Wednesday that it had filed suit against Hulu.com for trademark infringement, unfair and deceptive trade practices and for federal cyberpiracy. The complaint was filed in the US District Court in Raleigh, NC.
Lulu says that Hulu's features are too similar to what it has been providing customers for nearly five years from its own Web site. The company offers a centralized location for consumers to both publish, buy, sell, and mange various types of content, including digital video.
With the names so similar, Lulu believes News Corp. and NBC's decided-upon name would cause confusion in the marketplace.
"It is clear we are required to move quickly to protect our intellectual property and defend ourselves against this infringement before it significantly damages our business," the company's CEO Bob Young said in a statement.
While Lulu's main site seems to be more focused on media such as books and photos, the company has a companion site, lulu.tv, where consumers can share, buy, or sell video. It is this portion of the business that Lulu claims Hulu is going to affect.
Officials at Hulu did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
According to Lulu, the site has approximately 1.2 million users and receives about three million unique vistors per month. Approximately 15,000 new users sign up for the service each week, Lulu claims.