Two industry giants in the co-working space are about to battle it out.
Giant #1 Regus has been an international giant in the executive suites, meeting room, and coworking space for many years. They have apparently been the most significant player on the flexible workspace block with a network of almost 3000 business centers in 900 cities in 120 countries. (Wow!)
Giant #2 When WeWork opened in 2010, the company was focused on co-working space. More recently, they are grabbing headlines for their new offerings worldwide and have become a notable disrupter in the Office sector of Commercial Real Estate. As of this writing, WeWork has grown to 280 locations, spread across 77 cities in 23 countries.
These two giants are about to throw down in court. What’s this lawsuit all about?
Well, first there is a trademark issue.
Giant #1 owns the trademark for HQ Global Workspace, which has been in existence for more than 30 years.
Giant #2 recently branded a new business line called HQ by WeWork.
A little tired of the newcomer stepping on their toes, Regus filed suit.
Giant #2 is claiming that the use of HQ as an abbreviation is common and “no entity … should be allowed to monopolize the commonly used generic term ‘HQ’ in the real estate or office space industry.”
Interestingly enough, WeWork filed an application to use HQ as a service mark in a trademark application for HQ before this lawsuit and defense,. Hmmmmmm…
Next is an accusation of poaching.
Giant #2 grabbed the Commercial Real Estate industry’s attention this summer when they started offering brokers 100% commission for leases with companies that occupied space with a competitor.
Giant #1 claims that practice, along with Giant #2’s staff directly calling #1’s clients and offering 50% discounts for changing their address, unlawfully interfered with their business.
Giant #2’s response to the poaching claim is not addressed in the article that I read.
It will be interesting to see what happens with this lawsuit involving Regus and WeWork, two of the most significant players in the flexible workspace industry.
Read more about this in Regus Sues WeWork For Trademark Infringement, Poaching Tenants