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Hulu to Lulu: Get Lost

Hulu, the online-video joint venture of NBC Universal and News Corp., on Monday filed a request to dismiss a federal lawsuit filed by Web publisher Lulu Enterprises, which had accused the media giants of trademark infringement and “cyberpiracy.”

Hulu’s answer to the Lulu suit asserted that “there is no likelihood of confusion between the parties’ marks as they are actually used.” Furthermore, according to Hulu, the Lulu trademarks are not “distinctive and well-known” contrary to the lawsuit’s claims.

NBCU and News Corp. this month expect to launch a private beta version of Hulu, which the partners have said will host thousands of hours of free, ad-supported cable and broadcast TV content.

Lulu filed the suit Sept. 5 in U.S. District Court in Raleigh, N.C., less than a week after NBCU and News Corp. announced the Hulu name. The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages and requests that the Hulu.com domain name be transferred to Lulu. Lulu also wants an injunction prohibiting the NBCU and News Corp. joint venture from using Hulu or any similar name.

The judge in the case has scheduled a hearing on Lulu’s motion for preliminary injunction on Oct. 16.

Lulu, founded by Linux software entrepreneur Bob Young, lets members publish and sell their own content, including books, DVDs, videos, images and music. It claims to have 1.2 million registered users.