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WeWork and URWork settle US trademark lawsuit
The trademark dispute between US co-working behemoth WeWork and its Chinese counterpart URWork in the US has been settled to the satisfaction of both parties. A similar case between the two parties in London has also been withdrawn.
It seems that English name of the Chinese co-working giant—”URwork”—will only appear in China in the future. Outside China, the company will be branded with only its Chinese name, “You Ke Gong Chang” (优客工厂), a move the company has always planned as it claimed in court files.
The boom of co-working industry comes along with the rise of several regional dominators. As they are taking a global focus, competitions is heated. WeWork filed a suit in September after UrWork announced plans for several global hubs in New York, Los Angles, and London. The similarity in name and branding, and thus user confusion, were at the heart of its concerns.
Through a partnership with local partner Serendipity Labs, URwork managed to open a co-branded location in New York earlier this year. They also opened a 300-desk space at 16839 Gale Avenue, Los Angeles.
UrWork has withdrawn both trademark applications that were at issue in the case, for a logo with the letters “UR” on a circular background, as of December 15, according to The Real Deal.
In a statement from WeWork, the co-working company said that the parties had reached “an amicable resolution to the global dispute regarding the use of certain trademarks.” the report pointed out.
In fact, there have been early signs for a peaceful settlement at the beginning of this month. A picture taken at World Internet Conference in Wuzhen depicted perfect harmony between WeWork execs—co-founder Adam Neumann and vice chairman Michael Gross—and URwork founder Mao Daqing was widely circulated on Chinese social networks. A following tour of WeWork execs to URwork’s China locations drew the two firms to more friendly terms.
Likewise, the two co-working giants are facing similar competition in China. Luckily, top players in the industry are focusing diversified segments in the industry as the market evolves.