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In brief: Facebook changing its corporate name to Meta could cost the company more than expected. An Arizona firm called Meta PCs that sells laptops, accessories, and customized rigs already applied to trademark the "Meta" name in August but is willing to sell it to Zuckerberg and co. for $20 million.
Last week saw Facebook confirm rumors that it is changing its name. While the social media platform retains the Facebook brand, the company itself is now called Meta, named after the idea of a VR/AR metaverse that Zuckerberg has been talking about for a while.
But Meta/Facebook could face problems beyond the name change failing to distract people from its slew of recent bad press. According to a document shared by TMZ, Arizona firm Meta PCs filed a trademark for the Meta name in August, just over a year after it started trading.
A couple of Meta PCs' PCs that have nothing to do with Facebook's Metaverse-inspired Meta
Meta PCs co-founder Zack Shutt told The Guardian that the company was registered in November last year, and none of the team was aware of Facebook's plans to rebrand as Meta until last week. Both Shutt and co-founder Joe Darger say they won't sell the name for anything less than $20 million.
Meta PCs' trademark application, courtesy of TMZ
A TMZ source said that Facebook believes they have the necessary rights to acquire the name, and it's noted that Meta PCs' trademark petition hasn't yet been granted. There are also plenty of legal loopholes a multi-billion company such as Facebook could exploit if needed, such as filing an application in another country and using that application date to file in the US.
In a mocking tweet, Shutt posted a video similar to the one Zuckerberg made in which the billionaire announced the name change. In Shutt's clip, he states that Meta PCs is "now Facebook."