An Arizona-based company called Meta PC that sells computers, laptops, and software for gamers found itself in an IP war with technology giant Facebook (Meta Platforms Inc) after it announced its name change to Meta last Thursday.
The company’s co-founders Zack Shutt and Joe Darger filed for its trademark on 23 August 2021, just over a year after the company with 25 employees started up.
While Meta PC’s trademark petition is yet to be granted, they have a head start on Facebook if Zuckerberg tries to claim it for his rebranded company.
Shutt and Darger told TMZ, an online tabloid newspaper owned by Fox Corporation, that they refuse to sell the name to Facebook for less than US$20mln.
Mark Zuckerberg’s company told TMZ they have the rights to use the name and it is of little concern.
Mark P McKenna, a professor at the University of California, said there are loopholes that could facilitate Facebook to acquire the Meta name including filing an application in another country and using that application date to file in the US.
“They look for a little country without a searchable system and then file there,” McKenna explained to the Guardian, before adding “that would be a way for them to have an earlier date.”
This could be the latest problem for Zuckerberg after recent weeks have seen a Facebook outage, a whistleblower calling for Zuckerberg to step down, and concerns from the UK regulator regarding how it handles online safety.