Is another tech entity trying to cash in on the brand of Austin tech accelerator Capital Factory?
The startup incubator thinks so, and has sued East Austin co-working space atx Factory and its founder, accusing them of trademark infringement, unfair competition and unjust enrichment.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, alleges that atx Factory and founder Vijay Mehra are offering identical services in Austin and using the “nearly identical” name atx Factory.
The lawsuit alleges that “atx Factory emphasizes the ‘Factory’ portion of its mark by displaying the word in capital letters,” as it styles its brand atx FACTORY in company materials.
Mehra declined to comment on the lawsuit. Capital Factory executive director Joshua Baer also declined to comment beyond the statements in the lawsuit.
Baer launched Capital Factory in 2008, and the downtown accelerator, co-working space and seed investment fund has grown steadily since then. It now occupies 60,000 square feet at the Omni Building at 701 Brazos St.
About 1,000 members currently lease co-working space at Capital Factory, and it hosted more than 800 events including pitch competitions and panels last year.
Meanwhile, atx Factory opened last September in a former warehouse at 5323 Levander Loop off East Cesar Chavez Street near Airport Boulevard. The 14,000-square-foot space was renovated to include a bar and cafe, showers and locker rooms, sleeping pods and recreational areas.
According to atx Factory’s website, it can house 140 members.
The lawsuit asks that atx Factory deliver and destroy all signage, letterheads, promotional material and advertisements bearing the atx Factory or Capital Factory names.
Capital Factory also seeks to recover unspecified damages as well as attorneys’ fees and other expenses.
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