- Facebook may face a trademark battle for its new “Meta” brand.
- A tech retailer called Meta PC applied for it in August, telling Insider that Facebook’s news was a “shock”.
- The company told TMZ that it will resign if Mark Zuckerberg pays them $ 20 million.
Facebook announced last week that they are changing their name to Meta. But the transition may not be without obstacles.
A company is already after the “Meta” brand – and was a long time before Facebook launched its new moniker.
Arizona-based startup Meta PC founder Zach Shutt told Insider that the company applied for the “Meta” brand in August. The Danish Patent and Trademark Office’s website confirms the application, which states that Meta PC only started using the brand for its product range in November 2020.
Meta PC sells computers, disk drives, keyboards and other devices.
Facebook, formerly known as Meta, also applied to trademark the name on October 28, according to its application to the Patent and Trademark Office.
A federal trademark provides a company with legal nationwide protection for its brand and helps identify its goods and services, according to the Patent and Trademark Office. However, this does not mean that a business would legally own a particular word and would be able to prevent others from using it.
For example, if Facebook were given a trademark for Meta, it would not mean that the company would own the word – and it could not prevent a company outside its industry from using it. However, it is unclear whether a court would rule that MetaPC and Facebook are in the same wheelhouse, given their vastly different business.
The applications have not been approved – the applications are still listed as “live” – which means that Meta PC does not own the “Meta” brand yet. Still, it filed its petition a full two months before Facebook announced its rebranding – meaning the technology giant could face a legal battle, even in the form of patent trolling.
Meta PC’s endgame is not entirely clear. Schutt and co-founder Joe Darger said they are willing to resign if CEO Mark Zuckerberg pays them $ 20 million, TMZ reported. Schutt, however, refused to confirm the amount or that it made such a proposal.
Meta PC has been screaming about Facebook’s rebrand on its Twitter account, and has posted memes and other jokes in light of the name change. The company posted a video showing Schutt jokingly announcing that MetaPC is changing its name to “Facebook.”
“When the Facebook message came as a shock to us, we figured we’d have fun with it on our social channels,” Schutt told Insider.
– META PCs (@ METAPCs) October 28, 2021
Meta, formerly known as Facebook, did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Meta has already claimed certain online rights to its brand, including the meta.com domain. However, a motorcycle magazine from Denver already had the @ meta handle on Instagram, which Facebook owns. So the company chose @wearemeta on the platform.
Jim Prior, CEO of brand agency Superunion, told Insider that Facebook likely poured money and legal resources to secure the online rights to “Meta,” and the reorganization could affect smaller businesses that are also dependent on the brand.
“There are many companies already in the world with Meta somehow in their name who will curse the impact this step may have on them but who will be powerless to do anything about it,” Prior said.