Meta versus Meta: Facebook faced with multiple lawsuits following their rebrand

Tech-giant formerly known as Facebook announced a rebrand and a change of its name to Meta. Following that, there were many discussions about whether a company as big as Facebook could even end up holding a complete monopoly over such generic word given hundreds of already existing trademarks in the same field of services. The results of these disputes will be decisive for the future of Meta.


Igor Demcak

Long road ahead of Meta

In October 2021, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would change its name to Meta, as part of a wider strategy shift toward the so-called metaverse that aims at introducing people to shared virtual worlds and experiences across different software and hardware platforms.

So far Zuckerberg’s rebranding strategy has come at a significant cost, as according to Interbrand’s annual brand value ranking, the Facebook brand dropped to 15th place in October 2021, with an estimated brand value of US$36 billion. It had last ranked 15th in 2016, before peaking in 8th place in 2017 [1]. In April 2022, the company’s profits were $7.5 billion, down 21% from the same period last year. Sales rose 7% to $27.9 billion. That’s the slowest growth rate since the company went public a decade ago. On the brighter side, the number of daily active users reached 1.96 billion, which means an increase of 4% compared to the same period last year. [2]

Now, besides the continuous decline in sales and profits, the company faces a number of lawsuits over the trademark ownership of the word Meta.


The owner of the Arizona-based startup Meta, Zach Shutt, claims that the company filed for the "Meta" trademark in August of 2020. The Patent and Trademark Office website confirms that claim, which states that Meta PC first began using the brand for its range of products in November 2020. Meta PC sells a range of computer products, such as disk drives, keyboards, and other devices.

Technically speaking Meta PC doesn't own the "Meta" trademark, as their application hasn’t been approved just yet. Still, as it filled its application two months before Facebook announced its rebrand, they are more entitled to the ownership of the word in their registered classes of goods and services.

Meta PCs have been taking advantage of the situation in their own way. Their social accounts have seen an influx of memes making fun of the situation, including a parody video, where the owner of Meta PCs, Zach Schutt, says: “To reflect who we are and what we hope to build, I’m proud to announce that we are now Facebook.” The company has also announced that they would consider giving up the trademark for the price of $20 million.


A 12-year-old VR company, MetaX, has also come forward with a trademark lawsuit against Zuckerberg’s rebrand, accusing the tech giant of trademark infringement. Justin Bolognino, the owner of METAx LCC, claims that his business has been damaged by the confusion caused by Facebook's rebrand.

Metax was founded in 2010, applied for trademark registration of its name in 2016, and was successfully registered in 2020. Its trademark covers a range of goods and services connected to technologies such as VR and AR. The lawsuit filed in December 2021 included concerns about the perceived similarities of logos, both of which use geometrical shapes to resemble the letter ‘M’, and the fact that Metax had previously collaborated with Facebook, meaning that the tech giant was aware of Metax's existence before launching its rebrand to Meta.

Is Meta worth the fight?

As we have discussed in our earlier articles, Facebook's transformation into Meta(verse): A Trademark Perspective, given the generic nature of the word Meta in the areas of software, online platform, and IT services, a number of opposition proceedings and other legal disputes was more than expected. Still, choosing this name was a carefully calculated decision, as when a company the size of Facebook undertakes such a transition, its reputation is likely to play a great role in securing the trademark despite the existence of multiple similar trademarks.

Igor Demcak
Igor Demcak

Trademark Attorney

Founder & CEO of Trama

7 year experience in IP protection

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