Meta Is Being Sued By Another Company Named Meta

A small immersive technology company called MetaX LLC has filed a lawsuit in a New York District Court against Meta Platforms Inc., the social media company owned by Mark Zuckerberg and formerly known as Facebook. MetaX, which refers to itself only as Meta, said in a press release that it has been involved in the "immersive and experiential technology industry" since 2010 — and, more to the point, that it was caught off guard when Facebook changed its name to Meta late last year. 

The lawsuit kicks off with a harsh accusation, claiming that Facebook "brazenly violated fundamental intellectual property rights enshrined

in U.S. law to obliterate a small business, Meta." The lawsuit further claims that this was a clear infringement on the Meta trademark and intellectual property rights, as it has been working in the immersive technology industry for the last 12 years — long before Facebook decided to rebrand itself. As part of its lawsuit announcement, Meta accused Facebook of "engaging in egregious acts of unfair competition." Meta's founder and CEO Justin "JB" Bolognino claims that his company tried to resolve the situation with Facebook over the last eight months to no avail, "leaving us no choice but to proceed with litigation."

What makes this case interesting?

According to Bolognino, his company has been involved in immersive and experiential technology for years and has worked with many leading companies, institutions, and creators. Meta's clients include well-known brands like Spotify, Google, Twitter, HP, and Microsoft. The present dispute it is having with the company formerly known as Facebook has much to do with the fact that the name of the company, areas of experience, and customers are very similar to that of Zuckerberg's company.

In fact, Meta's lawsuit claims that not only is Facebook operating in the same immersive tech industry as the small business, but that it is also offering the "same immersive experiences" at the "same events and venues," and that it is also reportedly working with the "same creators and companies." That's in contrast to Meta's claim that it got into contact with Facebook soon after the latter company announced its plan to rebrand. Upon expressing concerns about the shared name, Facebook allegedly told Meta that the two companies dealt with "drastically different goods and services." 

As additional salt in the wound, Meta points out that Facebook is a company impacted by controversy, claiming that such controversy has "crushed" its ability to continue operating under the Meta name. "Meta is associated with the toxicity that is inextricably linked with Facebook," the lawsuit claims. Meta (Facebook, that is) hasn't yet responded to these allegations with a public statement, but this certainly isn't the first time it has faced legal actions due to its rebranding.