Meta sued by investment firm Metacapital for trademark infringement

Meta logo is seen in this illustration taken, August 22, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
  • Metacapital said Meta's financial services will cause confusion
  • $60 million lawsuit follows others filed since Facebook adopted new Meta name, logo

(Reuters) - Investment firm Metacapital Management LP sued Meta Platforms Inc in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday, alleging the Facebook parent company's use of the Meta name to provide financial services would cause customer confusion and violate its trademarks.

Metacapital asked the court for damages of at least $60 million, the same amount Meta Platforms paid last year to acquire the trademark assets of Meta Financial Group, a regional bank.

"Given that Facebook was aware of Meta Financial Group and its purported rights (which post-date Metacapital's priority by at least two years), it is not credible that Facebook was also not aware of Metacapital," the lawsuit said.

Metacapital's lead attorney Anthony Dreyer of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom said Wednesday that Meta Platforms "has caused and will continue to cause irreparable harm to Metacapital."

Meta Platforms did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

New York-based Metacapital said in the lawsuit that it has been using its name since it was founded in 2001, and received related federal trademarks starting in 2002. The firm said its clients have included major financial institutions like CitiBank, Barclays and J.P. Morgan.

Meta Platforms rebranded from Facebook in October 2021 to reflect its focus on the metaverse, a shared virtual realm. It applied to register Meta-related trademarks in January related to a range of financial services, including "investment management services."

Meta Platforms also announced earlier this year that it would change the name of its financial-services unit from Novi to Meta Financial Technologies, which Metacapital said was likely to further confuse its potential customers.

The lawsuit said Metacapital sent Meta Platforms a cease-and-desist letter in May, and that the companies have been unable to resolve the dispute outside of court.

Virtual-reality company MetaX LLC separately sued Meta Platforms over its name in July. Blockchain developer Dfinity sued in May, alleging Meta Platforms' new infinity-symbol logo would cause confusion with its own.

The case is Metacapital Management LP v. Meta Platforms Inc, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 1:22-cv-07615.

For Metacapital: Anthony Dreyer of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

For Meta Platforms: not available

Read more:

Meta hit with trademark lawsuit by virtual-reality company MetaX

Meta hit with trademark lawsuit over new infinity-symbol logo

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Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Reach him at blake.brittain@thomsonreuters.com