TAMPA — A California hospitality company with properties in Florida is suing the owner of coworking and event space Hyde House because it says it has rights to the Hyde name and brand.
Steve Gianfilippo first founded the Station House co-working space in St. Petersburg in 2016. Its sister location Hyde House opened in Tampa last year, named after Hyde Park Village and the Hyde Park neighborhood its located within.
But the owners of the Hyde hotel brand says Gianfilippo and his company took on the Hyde name “willfully and with intent to confuse the public.” They want Gianfilippo to stop using the “Hyde” name altogether.
“The parties in this case offer two very different core businesses located in two very different locations … under a different name,” said David Delrahim, Gianfilippo’s attorney. “We are confident that a jury would find there to be no customer confusion in this case.”
SBE Licensing, which filed the lawsuit on Feb. 13, runs the Haus of Hyde for events as well as hotels and condos in South Florida that go by the names Hyde Beach House and Hyde Resort and Residences. The word Hyde is also used at its properties and event spaces in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and throughout the country.
SBE sent a cease and desist letter over the name shortly after the Hyde House opened in the fall of 2019. It sent another one in December, according to the lawsuit.
SBE’s lawyers argue the similar names are likely to give people the impression the businesses are affiliated — especially because both host company events and weddings. The hospitality company also says it has “strong, nationwide common law” rights to the name as well as federal trademark registrations.
Further, the California company argues the font and design of the Tampa business’ name logo create the “same commercial impression" to its own.
The lawsuit also asks Hyde House deactivate its Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Though it has been operating for a few months, Hyde House has a scheduled ribbon-cutting and grand-opening celebration for this weekend.