On Tuesday, Facebook proprietor Meta Platforms Inc. was slammed with a trademark lawsuit in Manhattan federal court by MetaX LLC for allegedly copying its moniker for its transition to the metaverse.
MetaX LLC, a New York-based company that creates immersive virtual-reality experiences, told the court it has been crushed by Facebook's decision to switch names, hence its ability to operate as Meta has been compromised.
It blamed Meta Platforms for infringing on its federal "Meta" trademarks and demanded a court order to bar the social media company from using "Meta" for goods and services that overlap with MetaX's, as well as an unspecified amount of money damages.
The founder of MetaX, Justin "JB" Bolognino, said in a statement that Meta Platforms "not only put our business in jeopardy, but that of the entire industry and the intellectual property rights of the innovators that have helped build it."
MetaX also revealed in the lawsuit that it discussed a potential partnership with Facebook back in 2017 when a Facebook executive lauded one of its experiences that year as "amazing" and "spectacular."
The firm argues that Meta Platforms' new focus on the metaverse with its related VR and augmented-reality technology coincides with its operations, and it has started providing similar "immersive experiences" at some of the same places where it hosted its exhibits, including Coachella and South by Southwest. It also claimed that Meta Platforms' rebrand is confusing users who now believe the two companies are partners, which could eventually drive it out of the marketplace.
Meanwhile, Meta Platforms has failed to comment on the issue. The social networking platform adopted the brand name in October 2021 in a massive push toward the metaverse.