Dan.com

domains Meta.Company accuses Facebook of stealing Meta name and livelihood

NameSilo

Lox

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Meta.Company

For the last three months, Facebook lawyers have been hounding us to sell our name to them. We refused their offer on multiple bases. Namely, the low offer wouldn’t cover the costs of changing our name, and we insisted on knowing the client and intent, which they did not want to disclose.

At least two law firms were involved: One in the USA that requested our trademark and domains (Kilpatrick, Townsend & Stockton), and the other in Europe aggressively contacting trying to get us to sell our domain registrations (Hogan Lovells).

On October 20th, 2021, during a phone call with Facebook attorneys, we declined their low offer and maintained our requirements. At this point, we presumed it was Facebook and identified them on the call. The attorney representing Facebook declared they would respect our existing right and registration.

On October 28th, 2021, Facebook decided to commit trademark infringement and call themselves “Meta”.

They couldn’t buy us, so they tried to bury us by force of media. We shouldn't be surprised by these actions — from a company that continually says one thing and does another. Facebook and its operating officers are deceitful and acting in bad faith, not only towards us, but to all of humanity.

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Sheogorath

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If Facebook doesn't have millions to spend on a domain then who?

Good question.
Though one important fact to keep in mind is that many companies, even the largest ones are quite cheap when it comes to domain names.
It doesn't matter if a company is worth many billions of dollars or in excess of a trillion USD etc., many times they simply opt not to pay thousands or a million+ USD for a domain name.
There are so many available alternatives to a specific domain.

Also, a domain is considered by many people(those who are not in the Domaining industry) as a cheap commodity that shouldn't exceed the registration fee or at most shouldn't exceed the $100.
Ofc this notion is wrong since a domain name is unique and has many potential use cases that may justify the high price tag etc.
But it doesn't matter to many of the end users, they simply will not invest/buy an "expensive" domain.

What probably happens many times: when an end user see an high price tag near a domain name in a marketplace/for sale lander, he simply laughs and move on.
Only the top 0.5% or less of the end users who visit the for sale lander/see the domain in a marketplace will really consider spending more than reg fee on it.
When it comes to 6 or 7 figures price tags, then even fewer potential end users will consider purchasing the domain.
 
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jhm

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I just think your number wasn't met. If they came around and said we'll give you a million dollars to drop the name and step aside, I think you'd say yes. You aren't satisfied with their current bid(s)

In fact, it could have even improved your chances of them having a reflection / reconsidering their bid, if you didn't do this, even if they're being unreasonable (patience and nicey nicey). IMO
 
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I just think your number wasn't met. If they came around and said we'll give you a million dollars to drop the name and step aside, I think you'd say yes. You aren't satisfied with their current bid(s)

In fact, it could have even improved your chances of them having a reflection / reconsidering their bid, if you didn't do this, even if they're being unreasonable (patience and nicey nicey). IMO
Facts
 

karmaco

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I find it amazing this many domainers who sell domains for money/profit are on FB side on this. 😂 The monopolistic beast is not entitled to anything they want. Maybe since you think Meta Company is in the wrong you should turn your Meta names over to Zuck no questions or money asked.

They put in there psychotically long trademark application only 11 days ago. They don’t have a trademark they have an application.
 
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jhm

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Didn't realise that application went back to 2015, wow
Officially published for registration in 2017 but it was a trading business that they bought, so they have as much of a right to use the IP as if they started the business and registered the IP because they acquired it. There's a lot of value in a company's IP, it's probably why they bought it.
 

karmaco

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Impact
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I'm afraid that's not correct. Their registered trademark is here https://trademarks.justia.com/868/52/meta-86852664.html

They acquired it when the acquired the Meta.com/.org (META INC) business.

More information about their earlier Canadian trademark here: https://www.namepros.com/threads/facebook-rebrands-to-meta.1256390/#post-8438028
That is in category 35 and 42 marketing and software ONLY. Plus the in use is meaningless as their in use started oh 2 weeks ago. Not enough to claim Meta as their property.Therefore the long winded new application.

I suppose you want the meta trademarks that predate these to go bye bye too for FB? People are just not going to lay down and die for FB like this company did and they shouldn’t. Its not their word. Its generic. I expect lawsuits and objections to this madness.
 
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That is in category 35 and 42 marketing and software ONLY. Plus the in use is meaningless as their in use started oh 2 weeks ago. Not enough to claim Meta as their property.Therefore the long winded application.
Their long winded application is for their logo that was indeed released 2 weeks ago, and it is very comprehensive I must admit.

I'm not glossing over the fact that trademarks are registered for specific goods and services, that is a given. But try to start a business using the name Meta now for biscuits and you'll be fine, but that's not where the value is in registering a Meta domain lies.

Their registered mark is pretty clear and pretty good protection for what they want to achieve:
computer networking services, namely, creating on-line virtual communities for registered users to organize groups and events, participate in discussions, and engage individually and in groups in scientific, social, business and community networking;

Some people on here are going as far as to say that META is so generic that their latest application for their logo should be out right rejected. Because it is large? Because they just applied for it? I'm not sure what their reasoning is, but I have already mused about how they will get at least the bare minimum of what they already have registered through for their logo sans any other opposition about the originality of the design because they already own the rights to the IP for the META name in their previous trademark.

Trademarks can be used as an intent to use in trade, that explains why their logo application is so comprehensive, they are they're anticipating how their mark will be used, as is advised when you register a trademark and of course they won't get anything through that has already been registered, because it will be opposed. However the rest will get through if unopposed by existing trademark holders and businesses.

I suppose you want the meta trademarks that predate these to go bye bye too for FB? People are just not going to lay down and die for FB like this company did and they shouldn’t. Its not their word. Its generic. I expect lawsuits and objections to this madness.
My response is that I can only point you to this post from @jberryhill.
 
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Impact
1,589
To me it just seems that possible buyer and possible seller do not agree on price. This simply means the domain doesn't change hands.

There is nothing actually noteworthy here at the moment. Should FaceBook actually attempt to acquire the domain name through the courts then it becomes a story. Should FaceBook actually increase their offer and it is accepted then it is a story, and likewise should the current owner accept the current offer and sell the domain to FaceBook then it is a story. But currently the best that can be said is that FaceBook made an offer/s for a domain name and it was rejected.
 
I suppose you want the meta trademarks that predate these to go bye bye too for FB?

I searched TMVIEW for US (USPTO) word mark trademarks that equal META and are registered and this is what I found... 17 marks, I thought it might be interesting to show all of the goods and services that are registered.

I've split them into what I would consider problematic to FB (meta) and other marks.

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative META mark:

https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/#/tmview/detail/US500000086852664

Marketing, advertising, and promotion services; information distribution services, namely, commercial information in the field of scholarly, academic, scientific, technological, medical and intellectual property information; market research, market analysis and market research information services; advertising services, namely, promoting the goods and services of others via computer and communication networks using targeted and non-targeted methods; operating on-line marketplaces for sellers of goods and/or services; compiling and preservation of product indexes in computer databases; providing advertising space via the global computer network; providing on-line computer databases and on-line searchable databases in the field of classifieds
Software, scientific and computer services, namely, providing temporary use of non-downloadable software for mapping, following, broadcasting, annotating, compiling, storing, managing, searching, indexing, linking, categorizing, organizing, analyzing, sharing, exchanging, publishing, retrieving, editing, creating, generating, recommending and selling electronic documents, files, electronic information, data, text, video, sound and visual images, all over a computer network; computer networking services, namely, creating on-line virtual communities for registered users to organize groups and events, participate in discussions, and engage individually and in groups in scientific, social, business and community networking; computer services, namely, hosting electronic facilities for others for organizing and conducting meetings, events and interactive discussions via communication networks
Miscellaneous, Advertising and Business, Insurance and Financial


Potentially Problematic:

Metavision.com - https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/#/tmview/detail/US500000086626967 - Digital glasses that display augmented content etc.

Meta Threads. LLC - https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/#/tmview/detail/US500000087891375 - Game controllers in the nature of keyboards for computer games, Luggage; backpacks

Meta Bank - https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/#/tmview/detail/US500000078435603 - Financial services, namely, banking services; online banking services; etc

Other marks:

https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/#/tmview/detail/US500000075875885 - Uniforms
https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/#/tmview/detail/US500000075362298 - Cartons
https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/#/tmview/detail/US500000085941030 - Packaging machinery
https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/#/tmview/detail/US500000086213293 - Morphed tubulars, morphed sleeves etc. Downhole services, namely, morphing of tubulars etc
https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/#/tmview/detail/US500000088737773 - Aircraft financing services, Leasing of aircraft, Training services in the field of flight operations, Surveillance services; providing intelligence and information to government agencies
Wilson Sporting Goods - https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/#/tmview/detail/US500000090063043 - Baseball bats; softball bats
Monotype GmbH - https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/#/tmview/detail/US500000088949412 - Downloadable computer software for generating type fonts, Printing fonts of typographical characters;
Temporary use of nondownloadable computer software for generating type fonts, typeface designs and ornamental designs

Digital Reality Corporation - https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/#/tmview/detail/US500000086556037 - Online retail store services featuring posters, comic books and clothing, excluding athletic apparel and uniforms
https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/#/tmview/detail/US500000086732141 - Tennis instruction
https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/#/tmview/detail/US500000075597121 - Type fonts recorded on magnetic media
https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/#/tmview/detail/US500000086519841 - Publications, namely, books and magazines in the fields of dirtbike culture, featuring motocross athletes, global destinations, artists, and fans
https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/#/tmview/detail/US500000086556022 - Posters; printed materials, namely, comic books
https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/#/tmview/detail/US500000085762851 - Machines and machine tools for the cutting, etching, engraving and forming of materials; laser machines for cutting, etching, engraving and forming of materials

Of course there are countless other marks that contain the word 'meta' for various different goods and services, but they clearly didn't prevent Meta (the company that Zuck bought) from registering their mark. Probably cause there isn't another person that claimed it already for the same goods and services...?

Is Meta so generic for Baseball bats, for instance, that Wilson shouldn't be able to have their trademark honored for Meta? No of course not, people don't manufacture metas for hitting a baseball. "pass me the meta, I want to play a game of baseball...". In this sense if we talk about meta being generic what do we mean, generic for what?

Interesting to have a discussion about this.
 
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I feel like they just feel bummed Facebook didn't end up buying this dumb domain name (with that shitty ext) at the obviously outrageous price they were asking for.
Agreed. And they clearly don't know how to search for trademarks.
 

Rumandcoke

Upgraded Member
Impact
95
Their long winded application is for their logo that was indeed released 2 weeks ago, and it is very comprehensive I must admit.

I'm not glossing over the fact that trademarks are registered for specific goods and services, that is a given. But try to start a business using the name Meta now for biscuits and you'll be fine, but that's not where the value is in registering a Meta domain lies.

Their registered mark is pretty clear and pretty good protection for what they want to achieve:


Some people on here are going as far as to say that META is so generic that their latest application for their logo should be out right rejected. Because it is large? Because they just applied for it? I'm not sure what their reasoning is, but I have already mused about how they will get at least the bare minimum of what they already have registered through for their logo sans any other opposition about the originality of the design because they already own the rights to the IP for the META name in their previous trademark.

Trademarks can be used as an intent to use in trade, that explains why their logo application is so comprehensive, they are they're anticipating how their mark will be used, as is advised when you register a trademark and of course they won't get anything through that has already been registered, because it will be opposed. However the rest will get through if unopposed by existing trademark holders and businesses.


My response is that I can only point you to this post from @jberryhill.
Thank you for all the information and details you provide. Much appreciated.

I have a question - the TM is for USA and Canada I understand ? If so do you think that owners of Meta domains bought outside of USA / Canada could potentially have no problems using the Meta + keyword domains? Perhaps even saying on a sales page of a Meta +keyword domain something along the lines of : This domain is sold on the understanding that it's use will not infringe on registered Trademarks. I am not a lawyer or solicitor so I have probably got this all wrong but is there something in it?
 
Thank you for all the information and details you provide. Much appreciated.

I have a question - the TM is for USA and Canada I understand ? If so do you think that owners of Meta domains bought outside of USA / Canada could potentially have no problems using the Meta + keyword domains? Perhaps even saying on a sales page of a Meta +keyword domain something along the lines of : This domain is sold on the understanding that it's use will not infringe on registered Trademarks. I am not a lawyer or solicitor so I have probably got this all wrong but is there something in it?
Yes that's right, the mark that I'm aware of is registered in the USA and Canada. I'm sure there will be more incoming though.

I wouldn't be worrying too much about the name if I was in a territory that doesn't have the registered mark as long as you're not purposefully treading on their registered goods and services online targeting them by pretending to be them. I don't think that adding a disclaimer to your listings/landers is really worth doing because it's not up to you to care how someone uses a domain if they buy it from you tbh.

It's probably worth me reiterating to people that my intent is not to scare, I'm not a lawyer, but some people on here have a view of their registered rights that goes completely contrary to reality and that's what I'm trying to dispel.

Just don't go out of your way to target them by either offering names that contain their trademark to them and be sensible if you are subject to the jurisdiction of their registered marks not to leave yourself open to litigation by treading on their goods and services under the name.

Also I wouldn't post meta domains under a thread on Namepros that mentions Facebook becoming meta, that's also sensible. They just need to scan the forum and then before you know it they have a case to take your name.

Good luck.
 
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Kingslayer

Top Contributor
Impact
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I find it amazing this many domainers who sell domains for money/profit are on FB side on this. 😂 The monopolistic beast is not entitled to anything they want. Maybe since you think Meta Company is in the wrong you should turn your Meta names over to Zuck no questions or money asked.

They put in there psychotically long trademark application only 11 days ago. They don’t have a trademark they have an application.
Why are domain investors investing in 'meta' domains more and more since Facebook's parent company have rebranded to 'Meta' and not only investing in these names but putting 5 figure+ inflated price tags on their new $8 hand regs? Answer - They are doing it because of FB's rebrand in hope they win the lottery and FB just pays them, which also means people are trying to make money off this “monopolistic beast” (as you call them) = bad faith/leeching, this is why domain investors have a bad name.

What this reminds me of is when you own a house and the council want to build a motorway over your street and offer you more than what your property is worth to move + rehouse you, you get some people refusing to accept whatever is put in front of them and refuse to move, that is fair enough I’m on these peoples side.

When I’m not on their side though is when they are probably open to selling their property at a lower price until they know who wants it (one of the world's biggest companies) and then they start playing hard ball, making up lies publically (creating trolling social media handles/making out they are a business and have products on the market and are a victim of bullying etc) for no other reason other than to get even more money on top of the shit load of money they’ve no doubt already been offered.
 
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Sure they had a trademark relating to 'meta' before FB's rebrand, but what have they done with it? Can anyone find an actual business? An history of business and actual products on this company? There's a thing called 'evidence' and i can't find any evidence on this, what i can find evidence of though is a 'so called' company creating new social media handles just a few days ago and telling a few other lies to play the victim and because of that they are going about it in the wrong way in my opinion.
They admitted on Twitter that they are yet to release what their product is. Given that their mark was registered 5 years ago it doesn't bode well because you're supposed to use your trademark within 5 years or claim excusable non-use... which is seldom accepted according to USPTO's own website.

Facebook on the other hand, purchased a business that was already and using the name META, meta.com and meta.org, called META INC was already operating for years prior to acquisition and had IP in the works for Canada and USA. Who wins 🤣
 
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