Meta v. Meta – Battle Over Name and Logo in Digital Space

Hodgson Russ LLP

The Complaint

Facebook’s corporate entity Meta Platforms has been sued for trademark infringement based on the corporate name “Meta” which it adopted in October 2021. Since 2010, MetaX LLC has developed experiential and immersive technologies using augmented, virtual, and extended reality for special events and promotional use. MetaX’s clients include Red Bull and Twitter, and its installations have been featured at Coachella and SXSW.  It filed its case against Facebook in federal court in New York City on July 19, alleging trademark infringement and unfair competition. MetaX claims that Facebook brazenly violated MetaX’s intellectual property rights in adopting the Meta name. According to the complaint, Facebook ignored MetaX’s public trademark registrations and knew about the company and praised its products and services as far back as 2017. MetaX contacted Facebook to advise of the improper use of the Meta mark, but its efforts over eight months to resolve the dispute fell flat. MetaX claims it is being crushed in the market and “stands no chance against the corporate goliath that is Facebook.” MetaX is seeking an order barring use by Facebook of the Meta name and logo, as well as monetary damages.

Takeaways and Action Items

Companies with trademarks should be vigilant in monitoring entrants into their markets who use identical or similar names and logos, and should take steps to ensure protection of their brands. New or rebranding companies should do a diligent investigation before choosing a name and logo to make sure they are not infringing the trademark rights of others. 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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