(CTN News) – A decade after you created your business, one of the world’s most powerful companies suddenly hijacked your name.
Last year, Facebook rebranded as Meta, according to Justin Bolognino. He runs a small business called METAx LLC.
Surreal. Bolognino told CNBC in an exclusive on-camera interview that he was like a kid watching a movie when he first heard Facebook was changing its name.
“I never wanted this scenario. Facebook’s parent company, Meta Platforms, is now suing Bolognino for trademark infringement and unfair competition. “When Facebook stole the Meta brand from us, it decimated our business.”
Using virtual and augmented reality, Bolognino creates live experiences for events like Coachella. Facebook’s announcement last year resulted in a screeching halt, Bolognino said.
We have the same goal… social immersion in virtual spaces,” he said.
The attorney representing Bolognino, Dyan Finguerra-DuCharme, immediately notified Meta Platforms it was infringing on her client’s intellectual property rights.
She said reverse confusion occurs when a small player has been doing business for a long time and a giant corporate behemoth with sheer arrogance says, “I’m going to own this mark now and I’m going to do business with this,” she added.
Finguerra-DuCharme said the two companies negotiated for eight months. Meta Platforms would not come to the table despite being handed thousands of pages of information, she said.
Now that my client is marketing and promoting its services, consumers believe it is coming from Facebook, she said.
Finguerra-DuCharme says her client must sue. The complaint claims META’s business has been irreparably damaged.
Meta Platforms did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
No matter how long it takes, Bolognino will keep fighting.
Our brand has been so valuable and cool that one of the biggest companies on Earth, Facebook, wants to steal it from us,” he said.
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