A small Arizona company has crossed paths with the almighty Mark Zuckerberg’s plans to transform the giant Facebook into a new company called Meta and ensure its viability.
Prior to the Meta announced by Zuckerberg last week, there was Meta PC. This small company of 25 employees, which is dedicated to the sale of computers and “software” for video game enthusiasts, registered the Meta trade name in August last year, a year after starting its still modest activities. This is according to documents published by the TMZ news portal.
The founders of this young company were perplexed when they saw the video in which Zuckerberg announced the transformation of Facebook into a new firm named after their small business and focused on what the company has dubbed the Metaverse, according to Zuckerberg, “a new frontier” of the Internet and source of virtual experiences.
Meta PC owners had no idea of Zuckerberg’s plans. Having overcome their initial perplexity, they are now prepared to fight for their right to use the Meta brand name. Its founders, Zack Shutt and Joe Darger, told TMZ that they would not give up their right to use the name for less than $20 million if Zuckerberg tries to use it. Such a sum would be a stratospheric amount for Meta PC’s business volumes. “We set up the company with our own money. When we learned that Facebook had chosen the same name, obviously, we began to worry about losing all the corporate reputation we had worked so hard to build,” Shutt stated.
The change of name and appearance of Facebook is the keystone of the transformation of the colossal social network that, despite its immense profits, sees its prospects clouded by the trickle of scandals that reveal its failures in the control of violent content, the personal data of customers and its harmful effects on minors. A US congressional committee is considering restricting Facebook’s activities after hearing the revelations of former employee Frances Haugen and the British Parliament is analyzing possible measures to protect children.
But it is not clear that, even having registered it before, Meta PC owners could oppose Zuckerberg’s plans, as U.S. laws allow other ways to appropriate a trade name apart from registering it. Mark P. Mckenna, professor of law at the University of California, assures “The Guardian” that Facebook could resort to other legal avenues and that “in the US, rights do not arise from the registration of a trademark, but from its use”.
The entrepreneurs who launched Meta PC take it with a sense of humor. Shutt shared a video in which he parodies the recording in which Zuckerberg presented his new project. Paraphrasing him, it said, “To reflect who we are and what we hope to build, I’m proud to announce that we are now Facebook.”