A company called Meta is suing Facebook for stealing its trademark
META (or Meta.is), a firm specializing in creating artistic experiences in installations, is suing Meta, Mark Zuckerberg’s company, for stealing their registered name 12 years ago “without notice”, as revealed by the company itself in a statement. Meta.is claims “Facebook seized” its trademark and that they tried to negotiate with the multinational for months, but were unsuccessful.
“Today, after eight months of trying to negotiate with Facebook in good faith to no avail, we have no choice but to file a lawsuit against them,” Meta.is alleges. Facebook, remember, changed its name last October, right around the time they announced their interest in the metaverse and the development of a future virtual world dedicated to connecting people in a similar way as we do in the real world. The name change, according to Mark Zuckerberg, was also made to encompass the company’s products, leaving the name ‘Facebook’ for the social network only.
Meta.is, however, highlights that Facebook changed its name without negotiating, despite the fact that the firm dedicated to creating live experiences previously registered the trademark at the federal level. “We were as surprised as you are. Amid the challenges of the pandemic and its impact on the experiential space, we were putting the finishing touches on our new initiative, UNREALITY. Then, one of the most powerful companies in the world took our identity without warning,” the company has detailed.
Meta.is, furthermore, assures that they can no longer offer services and products under their brand, because they fear that users will link them to Facebook and its toxicity. “Consumers are likely to mistakenly believe that Meta’s products and services come from Facebook and that Meta is associated with toxicity that is inextricably linked to Facebook,” they mention in the lawsuit filed, referring to the various controversies that have engulfed Mark Zuckerberg’s company over the past few months.
Meta.is has also mentioned the hypocrisy of Facebook, who constantly comes out in favor of supporting small creators. “If they are willing to blatantly take over our intellectual property and use it in the same spaces we’ve operated in for over a decade, we can’t imagine what’s to come when they further saturate our industry and dominate the “metaverse”.
Facebook has not responded to Meta.is statements, who will likely have to face the company in court. Interestingly, this is not the first time a company has complained that Mark Zuckerberg’s firm has used its name. Other firms involved in the manufacture of non-tech products, such as one specializing in prosthetic limbs, have also lashed out at Facebook for using Meta as a name.