Hulu Already Sued For Trademark Infringement
The recent outbreak of digital distribution services bearing silly names is up for a round in the court: NBC's Hulu.com is being sued by Lulu.com, a content publishing site.
September 7, 2007
The plaintiff already filed a complaint in the US District Court in Raleigh, NC, in which it accuses NBC's new service of the new usual “trademark infringement”, “unfair and deceptive trade practices” and “federal cyberpiracy”.
Things aren't looking very promising for the NBC and News Crop joint venture. Both Hulu and Lulu will be competing in the same line of business: digital video. Considering the fact that Lulu has been in business since 2002, their claim that Hulu “intentionally attempted to create confusion in the marketplace” is likely to hold water in court.
"We have spent more than five years and tens of millions of dollars in investment successfully building the Lulu brand and website into a place for millions of creators and consumers to publish, buy, sell and manage digital content. 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." said Lulu CEO Bob Young in a recent statement.
Lulu claims to have almost 1.2 million registered users and receives more than three million unique visitors per month between its global sites, with 15,000 new users sign up for the service each week.
Chances are that Hulu is up for a name change, plus some additional rebranding. And by the way, did NBC actually paid someone to come up with the “Hulu” name?
To prove to the NBC that we're not bad guys, we came up with a list of Hulu alternatives: SueYou, Wuhu and, our favorite, BooHoo. They're also taken, but at least they're not in the same business.