Tuesday, December 6, 2022

MetaX, a virtual-reality startup, has filed a trademark complaint against Meta

MetaX LLC, a firm that provides immersive virtual-reality experiences, filed a trademark lawsuit in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday against Facebook owner Meta Platforms Inc (META.O) for allegedly copying its moniker for its transition to the metaverse.

Based in New York, MetaX told the court that Facebook’s rebranding had “crushed” the company and that its “capacity to operate as Meta has been eviscerated.”

It accused Meta Platforms of infringing on its federal “Meta” trademarks and sought a court order prohibiting the social network firm from using “Meta” for goods and services that compete with MetaX’s as unspecified monetary damages.

In October 2021, Meta Platforms relaunched from its eponymous social networking platform, betting that the metaverse, a shared virtual reality, will outperform mobile internet.

In a statement, MetaX creator Justin “JB” Bolognino said that Meta Platforms had “not only jeopardized our business, but that of the whole industry and the intellectual property rights of the inventors who helped establish it.”

Meta Platforms did not reply immediately to a request for comment.
MetaX specializes in “experiential and immersive technology,” such as virtual and augmented reality.

According to the lawsuit, the company discussed a prospective relationship with Facebook in 2017, and a Facebook executive complimented one of MetaX’s experiences as “wonderful” and “fantastic” that year.

MetaX stated that Meta Platforms’ new focus on the metaverse and related VR and augmented-reality technology overlaps with its business and has begun providing similar “immersive experiences” at some of the same venues where it previously hosted exhibits, such as Coachella and South by Southwest.

MetaX claims that Meta Platforms’ rebranding will force it out of the market and has already led consumers to mistake the firm’s affiliation.