MetaX LLC, a small immersive technology company, has filed a lawsuit against Meta Platforms Inc., the social media company owned by Mark Zuckerberg and formerly known as Facebook, in a New York District Court. MetaX, which only goes by Meta, stated in a press release that it has been involved in the “immersive and experiential technology industry” since 2010 — and that it was caught off guard when Facebook changed its name to Meta late last year.
The lawsuit begins with a scathing accusation, claiming that Facebook “blatantly violated fundamental intellectual property rights guaranteed by the law
Meta, it is illegal in the United States to destroy a small business.” The lawsuit also claims that this was a clear infringement on Meta’s trademark and intellectual property rights because the company has been working in the immersive technology industry for the last 12 years — long before Facebook decided to rebrand itself. Meta accused Facebook of “egregious acts of unfair competition” in its lawsuit announcement. Justin “JB” Bolognino, Meta’s founder and CEO, claims that his company tried to resolve the situation with Facebook for eight months without success, “leaving us no choice but to proceed with litigation.”
What makes this case unique?
Bolognino claims that his company has been involved in immersive and experiential technology for many years, and that it has collaborated with many leading companies, institutions, and creators. Among Meta’s clients are well-known companies such as Spotify, Google, Twitter, HP, and Microsoft. The current dispute it is having with the company formerly known as Facebook has a lot to do with the fact that the company’s name, areas of experience, and customers are all very similar to Zuckerberg’s.
In fact, Meta’s lawsuit claims that Facebook not only operates in the same immersive tech industry as the small business, but that it also offers the “same immersive experiences” at the “same events and venues,” and that it is reportedly working with the “same creators and companies.” This is in contrast to Meta’s claim that it contacted Facebook shortly after the latter company announced its plan to rebrand. When Meta expressed concern about the shared name, Facebook allegedly told her that the two companies provided “drastically different goods and services.”
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As icing on the cake, Meta mentions Facebook as a company impacted by controversy, claiming that such controversy has “crushed” its ability to operate under the Meta name. The lawsuit claims that “meta is associated with the toxicity that is inextricably linked with Facebook.” Meta (Facebook) has yet to respond to these allegations with a public statement, but this is far from the first time it has faced legal action as a result of its rebranding.