(Yicai Global) Sept. 13 -- The US shared workspace firm, WeWork, filed a lawsuit in New York against China's UrWork, alleging that the fast-growing Chinese company has infringed on its trademarks.
On September 12, WeWork filed a lawsuit against UrWork in New York, alleging that the company copied parts of its name and logo. WeWork had previously filed a lawsuit against UrWork in London, accusing its Chinese rival of “passing off,” which means misrepresentation by which a company claims their services are products of another company. UrWork has yet to respond to the accusation, Sina Science and Technology reported. However, Bloomberg said UrWork denied claims in a statement sent to the financial data and media company.
As startup companies try to cut costs and work more closely with other startups, the shared workspace services are rapidly gaining popularity. At the moment, WeWork and UrWork are opening new niche workspaces in urban centers around the world to provide desks, conference rooms and other office supplies to startups, freelancers and small businesses. Although WeWork is still the frontrunner in the field of shared workspace, UrWork has gained a lead in China’s domestic market and plans to move into cities such as London, Singapore, New York and Los Angeles.
WeWork is valued at about USD20 billion, with substantial capital and investment put into its brand. Although UrWork's brand is lagging behind, there is no reason to let UrWork preempt WeWork's market with such a confusing name, a spokesman for WeWork said.
UrWork has a very similar composition of logo to that of WeWork, and UrWork's logo, mobile app icons and office designs are all very similar to those of WeWork, the US firm said. WeWork also named UrWork's US partner, Serendipity Labs, in the lawsuit.
UrWork got financing from Sequoia Capital and a fund linked to Ant Financial Services Group, financial services arm of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. [NYSE:BABA].