A company that says it has used the Meta name for more than a decade is suing Facebook’s and Instagram’s parent company for having “brazenly violated fundamental intellectual property rights” with its rebrand last year.
New York-based virtual reality art company META.is is suing Meta in Manhattan federal court, according to a complaint made public on Tuesday.
“Facebook has brazenly violated fundamental intellectual property rights enshrined in U.S. law to obliterate a small business, Meta,” attorneys for META.is wrote in the compliant. “Meta stands no chance against the corporate goliath that is Facebook.”
META.is was founded in 2010 and produces “multi-sensory live experiences” in “experiential and immersive technologies” at events including including SXSW, Coachella and Cannes Lions, according to the company.
After Mark Zuckerburg announced Facebook’s rebrand as Meta in October 2021, META.is says it approached the social media giant with evidence that it was infringing on META.is’ intellectual property rights. META.is says it’s been granted a trademark for its name.
The companies engaged in eight months of fruitless negotiations, leaving META.is with no option but to sue Meta this week because its business has been “irrevocably and irreparably harmed,” according to the suit.
Meta’s rebrand has damaged META.is’ business by confusing potential customers, the company alleges.
“Consumers are likely to mistakenly believe that Meta’s products and services emanate from Facebook and that Meta is somehow affiliated or associated with Facebook,” the suit reads.
Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In a statement to The Post, META.is’ founder and CEO Justin Bolognino said the company was “overwhelmed by the support we have received from the creator community and wider public” since filing the suit.