Hulu, NBCU hit with lawsuit over trade secrets

A Canadian company is suing NBC Universal and Hulu, saying the media company and its online video hub stole its name and trade secrets after meetings in 2006.

Hulavision principal Errol Hula says he sat down with an NBCU business development exec at a trade show in Las Vegas to discuss the technology he had developed to bring TV programs to viewers online. Hula said he and NBCU signed NDAs before he discussed his company further.

"At no time did (NBCU) inform Hula of any potential plans NBC had of its own for the development of any project similar to Hula's or that it had any interest other than possibly to form a business relationship with Hula if the Confidential Information to be disclosed was of interest to NBC," according to the complaint.

NBCU and News Corp. in 2007 announced its plans to release a video service that later became the online video site Hulu. The complaint contends "Hula's Confidential Information demonstrated to NBC how and why the project would work." NBCU said the case was without merit, adding, "NBC Universal will vigorously defend against it." NBCU, News Corp. and Disney are three-way partners in Hulu, which in December 2009 streamed more than 1 billion videos for the first time, second only to YouTube.

For more:
- see this Reuters report