Meta Logo Mimic?

May 16, 2022

Suing the Big Tech company Meta is like tilting windmills. Most of these lawsuits are dismissed, but sometimes the little guy has a decent chance at beating the giant. Fast Company details one of Meta’s latest fiascos: “Meta Faces Lawsuit Over Logo.” The Swiss blockchain nonprofit organization Dfinity filed a trademark infringement against Meta in a Northern California court. Dfinity’s lawsuit alleges that Meta’s new logo, shaped like an M infinity sign, bears a striking resemblance to their infinity logo.

Dfinity claims that Meta’s logo puts their reputation at stake, because Meta has a horrible record of violating people’s privacy and the association would prevent them from attracting users. The infinity symbol is in the public domain. Only original variations on it, such as the Meta and Dfinity logo, can be trademarked. Dfinity probably does not have a leg to stand on or curve to rest on with their lawsuit, but they might win. The infinity symbol is not unique to Dfinity, so if Meta had purloined the “Dfinity” name there would be a better case.

While Dfinity’s case could be dismissed, it could mean something worse:

“But even if Dfinity fails to prove its case, the lawsuit could jeopardize Meta’s attempts to earn trademark protection for its logo. That’s because it could highlight how unremarkable the logo really is. (Meta filed for trademark protection in March.) Says Lee: ‘The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office might find that [Meta’s logo] is not inherently distinctive on its own and require more evidence that consumers associate the symbol with a single company.’”

Lately, Meta is not getting a decent press. The little guy will not likely win, especially if Meta has a good legal team. Meta could ultimately lose control of their logo and it could be a fiasco as bad as Disney losing the copyright on Mickey Mouse.

Whitney Grace, May 16, 2022

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