Only one week has passed since NBC / News Corp announced the name of their online video project – Hulu.
And it was TechCrunch that made us all laugh when they ironically translated Hulu into Swahili – meaning, among other things, “cease” and “desist”.
Observations like that usually fizzle away – at least Jason Kilar, Hulu CEO, wishes it would. Yesterday, Lulu Enterprises confirmed that they have filed a law suit against N-F Newsite LLC (the operating company) for “trademark infringement, unfair and deceptive trade practices and for federal cyberpiracy” in a US District Court on August 22.
Lulu alleges that Hulu, as a result of their recent name and Internet domain announcements, have intentionally attempted to create confusion in the marketplace.
Hulu, in name, as a mark and in their business as a digital content distribution platform, represents a definitive encroachment.
Lulu.com opened it’s doors to the creative community in 2002 and claim 1.2 million registered users – publishing, buying and selling digital content across 700 interest groups. CEO Bob Young (previous co-founder of Red Hat) was force-full in his press release statement:
We have more than five years and tens of millions of dollars in investment successfully building the Lulu brand… It is clear we are required to move quickly to protect our intellectual property and defend ourselves
A comment from Soso Sazesh over at Techomical widened my smile even further:
Aren’t online video sites supposed to wait to be involved in litigation until they are up and running and have infringing content on their site?