Lulu sues Hulu in online company skirmish

Posted by Mark Raby

Morrisville (NC) - Web publishing company Lulu has sued NBC and News Corp over their similarly titled online video site Hulu.

Lulu claims that Hulu is so similar in name that it could confuse consumers.  "We have spent more than five years and tens of millions of dollars in investment successfully building the Lulu brand and Web site.  Then we come to work last Thursday and discover a new firm with a phonetically identical name announced plans to do what we are already doing," said Lulu CEO Bob Young.

Lulu, which was created in 2002, allows users to submit books and other documents to establish intellectual property rights and market their material to customers.

Hulu, meanwhile, is a new online video sharing site where co-founders NBC and News Corp will post official videos of their TV shows and other material.  The site was announced as the two became decidedly fed up with YouTube, which allows users to upload copyrighted videos.

Young claims the two sites are similar because they both revolve around creating and sharing individual pieces of content online.

Young, who says he has never filed a lawsuit before, is seeking a court to prevent Hulu from beginning operations, asking for a cease and decist order.  NBC and News Corp have said users will be able to access videos on the site beginning next month.