September 6, 2007, 12:00 AM

Lulu says Hulu made a legal boo-boo in choosing its name

Online book and video publisher Lulu files trademark infringement suit against parent company of Hulu, a new online video joint venture of NBC and News Corp. Lulu charges Hulu with intentionally sowing market confusion.

Lulu Enterprises, which operates web sites that offer to publish books, videos and other content on behalf of their creators, has filed a federal court suit alleging trademark infringement against N-F Newsite LLC, the parent company of Hulu, a new online video joint venture of television network NBC and media conglomerate News Corp.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Raleigh, NC, says that by choosing the name Hulu and Internet domain hulu.com N-F Newsite is intentionally sowing confusion. The suit says that N-F Newsite identified in its trademark filing Aug. 22 plans to offer products and services similar to those of Lulu, a company launched in 2002.

“We have spent more than five years and tens of millions of dollars in investment successfully building the Lulu brand and web site into a place for millions of creators and consumers to publish, buy, sell and manage digital content,” says Lulu CEO Bob Young. “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.”

Hulu declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Lulu, a privately held company based in Raleigh, says it has almost 1.2 million registered users and more than 3 million unique visitors a month to its two web sites, lulu.com and lulu.tv. The company says it publishes more than 4,000 pieces of content-including books, videos, calendars and music-each week.

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