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Aereo Is Getting Sued Again, This Time for Its Name

Sections: HTPC, Streaming, Video

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WinTV aero-m

Alki David has never been afraid to sue to get what he wants when he thinks he’s right, or to strike when he thinks he’s being wronged. His company, FilmOn, streams live television from all over the world to end-users just like fellow startup, Barry Diller’s Aereo, and therein lies the rub.

Both Barry Diller’s Aereo and FilmOn are subject to litigation from broadcast networks about the alleged illegal re-transmission of broadcast signals. The two companies claim that subscribers are simply renting their antennas for their own personal use, and it’s no different from them setting up one of their own. What they both agree on, is that there’s only room for one of such re-transmission service in this town — any town. David has fired a shot across the bow of Aereo, claiming its name is too close to the WinTV Aero-M antenna his company distributes, and now that he has the trademark on that name he’s going to use it. Attorneys for Aereo have a different theory, that his lawsuit has more to do with a Clean Flicks strategy than trademark protection. From Hollywood Reporter:

The new lawsuit comes six months after David was sued after attempting to redub his own service as BarryDriller.com and AereoKiller.

“This lawsuit was filed in direct response to a letter that we sent in January 2013 to the attorneys for AereoKiller and Alki David requesting that they stop trading on Aereo’s trademark ‘Aereo,’ ” says Virginia Lam, a spokesperson for Aereo.” We believe that this lawsuit is not only baseless but frivolous and will respond to it as appropriate.”

While I personally am not optimistic for the current business model of either company to stand up to legal scruitiny, I do think that the there’s an important legal battle to be fought here against the broadcasters, and FilmOn and Aereo joining forces to fight those already suing them would probably be more productive than fighting each other.  But where lawyers are involved, we all know that playing nice is rarely in the cards.

Via: [Hollywood Reporter]

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