Another company called Meta says Facebook rebrand ‘obliterated’ its business


Facebook changed its corporate name last fall to Meta, part of a strategic shift in focus from social media to a future, immersive — and so far largely theoretical — form of the internet powered by AR and VR technologies called the metaverse. Its stock started trading under the META (FB) ticker last month.

The tech giant’s move “obliterated” the smaller company’s business, according to allegations in the complaint from MetaX, filed in the Southern District Court of New York on Tuesday. “Meta’s small business stands no chance against the corporate behemoth,” the complaint states.

MetaX is seeking an injunction ordering Facebook’s parent company to cease the use of the Meta name in connection with products, services or activities related to virtual, augmented or extended reality, as well as unspecified damages, according to the complaint.

Representatives for the Facebook parent company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

MetaX LLC, which was founded in 2010, creates immersive installations and activations incorporating AR and VR, visuals, sound and other technologies at events such as Coachella and SXSW — the likes of which Facebook-turned-Meta now seeks to do to promote its new strategy, the lawsuit claims. MetaX says it has also worked with popular digital artists such as Beeple, and claims its work has “laid the foundations for the developing, although not yet fully existent, ‘metaverse.'”

In the complaint, MetaX alleges that in negotiations following Facebook’s name change, the tech giant asserted that the two companies provide”drastically different goods and services,” calling itself a “social technology company.”

Still, the lawsuit points to recent activations by Facebook-turned-Meta at SXSW and Coachella that MetaX alleges are “identical” to events that have been part of its core business for years.

MetaX in its lawsuit said it “can no longer provide services and products under the Meta mark because consumers are likely to mistakenly believe that Meta’s products and services emanate from Facebook and the toxicity that is inextricably linked with the Facebook brand.”

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