Last October, the company behind Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp changed its previous name Facebook to Meta to reflect its focus on the Metaverse. But the name is not particularly original, as is now clear. Since Facebook’s renaming to Meta (as the parent company), there have always been companies that have spoken out and believe that Mark Zuckerberg’s company stole the new name. That’s because the term meta isn’t necessarily unique or new.
Complaints and lawsuits generally have little chance of success, certainly not when companies take legal action where there is little or no chance of confusion. For example, two companies from Chicago and Arizona spoke out shortly after the announcement, claiming they were entitled to the name Meta. In the first case it wasn’t even clear what the “Meta Company” was actually doing, in the case of Arizona’s “Meta PC” it was a PC dealer. Both probably didn’t get very far with their complaints.
META vs Meta
However, Justin Bolognino’s case could be more successful: because the owner of “META” has sued Meta, accusing the social media giant of stealing the name. As CNBC reported, the case is very different here: Bolognino has been running his company for 12 years and offers a service that overlaps directly with its Facebook parent company.
Since Bolognino’s company offers augmented reality experiences for various events and, as is well known, the main reason for the Facebook renaming was Mark Zuckerberg’s desire to focus on the so-called metaverse – which is a collective term for AR and VR worlds and applications. Bolognino accuses Meta that his company has completely “dried up” since the name change.
According to his lawyer, Dyan Finguerra-DuCharme, they have been negotiating with Meta for eight months, but without success: “My client is trying to market and advertise their services, but consumers mistakenly and wrongly believe that their services come from Facebook. .” The lawyer continues that META’s company “has been damaged irreparably and irrevocably”.
And according to experts, the chance of success of the lawsuit is also quite high. Trademark expert and University of Michigan professor Jessica Litman believe META’s lawsuit is “perfectly plausible” and could well be successful.
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