Is The Latest Lawsuit From FilmOn’s Alki David Full Of Hot Aereo?
Alki David Can Keep Using ‘Aero’ During Name-Game Suits With Aereo
I’m getting a headache trying to keep track of FilmOn‘s Alki David feud with Aereo, and especially the lawsuits over who has the right to use different corporate names. David’s already defending himself in a suit filed by IAC chief Barry Diller, a major Aereo backer, over a web site David created called BarryDriller.com (it now seems to be defunct); major TV networks also sued David’s streaming service called Aereokiller. Here’s the latest: Yesterday he filed suit at U.S. District Court in Los Angeles alleging that Aereo misappropriated its company name. The story begins in early 2011 when electronics manufacturer Hauppauge Computer Works introduced a product called “WinTV-Aero-m” — it’s a tuner that plugs into computer USB ports so users can watch over-the-air digital TV. FilmOn began to market it about a year ago. And what do you know? This week Hauppauge assigned the trademark for “Aero” to FilmOn. In the new lawsuit, FilmOn charges that Aereo is “seeking to unfairly capitalize on the success of WinTV-Aero-m” hoping to “cause consumer confusion.” Aereo allegedly is attempting to “free-ride off the valuable goodwill developed and associated with the name ‘Aero.’” FilmOn wants the court to stop Aereo from using its name, and to pay unspecified damages. Aereo says that David’s suit ”is not only baseless but frivolous and [the company] will respond to it, as appropriate.”