Hulavision Claims NBC Stole Its Plans To Build Hulu

A Canadian company called Hulavision has sued Hulu and founding partner NBC Universal (s GE), claiming that the broadcaster stole trade secrets and plans for a premium video site, even pilfering the company’s name, according to a report in The Hollywood Reporter.

Hulavision claims that founder Eroll Hula met with NBC biz dev exec Raymond Vergel de Dios and both signed a non-disclosure agreement in the Spring of 2006. At that point Hula says he divulged his company’s business model, marketing strategy, product roadmap, and a revenue model chart that included valuable trade secrets.

The complaint claims that NBC walked away from the meeting and a year later announced plans for the online video site that would eventually be called Hulu with founding partner News Corp. (s NWS). Hula claims the resulting service is nearly identical to his plans for Hulavision, with NBC even copying the service’s name.

“At no time did Mr. Vergel de Dios 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,” the complaint says.

Hula is reportedly asking for unspecified damages for “misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract (the NDA), breach of implied contract, breach of a confidential relationship, unfair competition and unjust enrichment.” NBC, through a spokesperson, told The Hollywood Reporter that “the case has no merit and NBC Universal will vigorously defend against it.”

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