A trademark infringement lawsuit against Meta has been announced by the installation-art company Meta.
There were some worries when Facebook changed its name to Meta in October that the firm intended to control the developing metaverse, but one unhappy party is only now coming out.
A firm called META (or Meta. is), which creates installation art, declared on Tuesday that it will sue Meta (or Facebook) for trademark infringement, claiming that Zuckerberg’s name change violated the established brand of the smaller company. Facebook is accused by Meta. is of ignoring two nationally registered trademarks that it submitted in January 2016 and received approval for in May 2020 and May 2017, respectively. Additionally, the smaller business claimed that Facebook would find it extremely difficult to argue that it was unaware that there was another company by the name of Meta. The small business META makes its argument using recent controversies that have shaken Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta, including privacy issues and the safety of children using its platforms. The smaller company claimed that on October 28, 2021, Facebook took their META logo and name, which they had worked over twelve years to establish. They were forced to bring a lawsuit against Facebook today after attempting to engage with them in good faith for eight months without success. According to Meta.is, a Facebook executive visited one of the company’s immersive experiences in 2017 and wrote to JB Bolognino, the company’s founder and CEO, suggesting that the two collaborate on future projects. The lawsuit asserts that eventually, the two businesses did collaborate.
Facebook claims that Meta.is contacted it and informed it of the alleged violation after Facebook acquired the name “Meta” in October 2021. Facebook allegedly responded by stating to Meta.is that both businesses provided “significantly different goods and services.” Facebook claimed in the complaint that Meta.is provided “multi-sensory live experiences.” In contrast, Facebook was a mere “social technology firm.” However, Meta. asserts that by producing the same immersive experiences as Meta.is at the same gatherings and locations, Facebook is in fact doing the same thing it claimed it didn’t do. The smaller business claims that Facebook even collaborates with the same companies and creators. The case largely rests on Facebook’s numerous privacy problems, which, according to Meta.is, have rendered sharing the name impossible. The complaint claims that Meta can no longer offer products and services under the META mark because of the likelihood that consumers will wrongly think that Meta’s products and services come from Facebook and that Meta is connected to the toxicity that is inextricably tied with Facebook. According to META, which noted this on its website, Facebook talks a great game about promoting creators, but the evidence is in their deeds. One can only imagine what would happen after they further saturate the market and rule the “metaverse” if they are willing to outright seize their intellectual property and use it in the same spaces, they have occupied for over a decade. This lawsuit’s path has not been easy to follow. In order to reflect the name change on all of its products and services, including WhatsApp and Instagram, Facebook’s Meta has filed several trademark applications.
This meta-story demonstrates how difficult it may be to choose a name for a brand in the modern era. Despite the fact that Facebook has filed a wide range of trademark applications since the name change became official, including distinct marks for messaging, social networks, and financial services, Meta.is may still face an uphill battle in court. Additionally, there are several trademarks for non-tech items using the Meta brand, such as a maker of artificial limbs and hard seltzer. With this much complexity, it can take years to settle a dispute, and the outcome is difficult to predict.