When Facebook changed its name to Meta in October, there were those who feared that the firm was intending to dominate the young metaverse – but one disgruntled party is just now coming out.
META, an installation-art company, announced on Tuesday that it will sue Meta for trademark infringement, claiming that Zuckerberg’s name change violated the smaller company’s established brand.
“On October 28, 2021, Facebook took our META mark and name, which we worked for over twelve years to create,” says a message on the smaller company’s website. “Today, after eight months of working in good faith to negotiate with Facebook, we were left with no alternative but to bring a lawsuit against them.”
Much of the case is predicated on Facebook’s numerous privacy scandals, which Meta.is claims make it impossible to share the name. The lawsuit claims that “Meta can no longer supply products and services under the META mark” because “consumers are likely to incorrectly infer that Meta’s goods and services derive from Facebook and that Meta is connected with the toxicity that is inextricably tied with Facebook.”
Meta.is has a legitimate trademark for the name, but it may have an uphill struggle in court given Facebook’s wide variety of trademark filings after the name change became official – including different marks for messaging, social networks, and financial services.