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Meta vs. Meta: Why one company is suing Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta

Meta vs. Meta: Why one company is suing Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta
Photo Credit: Pixabay
20 Jul, 2022
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Facebook, which changed its name to Meta in October 2021, to reflect its ‘metaverse ambitions’ in the near-future is being sued by an installation-art company, which is also called Meta. The art firm said that it is going to sue Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta (formerly Facebook) for trademark violation and engaging in “egregious acts of unfair competition.” 

“On October 28, 2021, Facebook seized our META mark and name, which we put our blood, sweat, and tears into building for over twelve years,” Meta.is CEO Justin Bolognino and Chief Strategy Officer Nick Sciorra wrote in a blog post. “We were as surprised as you were… one of the most powerful companies in the world took our identity without notice.” 

After eight months of negotiations, the smaller company said that it was left with no choice but to sue, claiming its business has been obliterated. 

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“As a result of Facebook’s actions, consumers are likely to mistakenly believe that META’s products and services emanate from Facebook or that META is affiliated with Facebook. The META mark is now infected by the toxicity that is inextricably linked with Facebook,” Meta.is said in a statement.

Founded in 2010, Meta.is produces “multi-sensory live experiences” in “experiential and immersive technologies,” including virtual and augmented reality, and has a valid federal trademark for its name.  

“Astoundingly, Facebook’s due diligence team ignored Meta’s federal registrations for the META mark that expressly identify services ‘using digital, virtual and augmented reality’,” the smaller company said in its lawsuit. It also said that the larger Meta is now conducting the same type of immersive digital experiences that the smaller company once staged. 

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Still, Meta.is knows it's not a straightforward journey for this lawsuit. “This lawsuit is bigger than our company. The outcome will have major implications for the protection of intellectual property rights as the Web2 and Web3 ecosystems evolve,” Meta.is executives said.

“This case is about Facebook taking accountability for its actions and committing to move forward ethically and equitably in the revolutionary industry that we have all, together, created. This will be an arduous journey,” they added.