Meta faces lawsuit over logo

Gunnar Larson g at
Mon May 9 12:17:19 PDT 2022

Meta faces lawsuit over logo
A blockchain organization is suing Meta for using a logo similar to its
own, claiming Meta’s ‘sordid online privacy history’ could jeopardize its

As if Meta doesn’t have enough
the company now faces a lawsuit over its logo.

The Swiss blockchain nonprofit Dfinity <> filed suit
Meta for trademark infringement in a Northern California court this week.
The suit alleges that Meta’s logo, an infinity symbol unveiled last fall
the company rebranded from “Facebook,” looks strikingly similar to
Dfinity’s own mark. Dfinity is suing for unspecified damages and asking the
court to prevent Meta from using the logo, claiming that its reputation is
at stake. “Dfinity would be severely harmed in its development of the
Internet Computer and its ability to attract users if those users were to
associate Dfinity with Meta’s sordid online privacy history,” the complaint

Could Meta be forced to pull its logo? According to legal experts we spoke
with, it’s possible but not likely. The case rests on whether consumers
find the two logos confusing. “I don’t see a strong likelihood of
confusion, so I don’t believe this is a strong case,” says Alexandra J.
Roberts, a professor at the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce
School of Law. “But it’s impossible to rule out that Dfinity could be
successful here.”

A key issue is that infinity symbols are fairly commonplace. The two logos
might be similar in shape and design, but they’re still just stylized
versions of an everyday symbol. That makes it harder to argue that
consumers associate the symbol with a particular company. “It is the name
‘Dfinity’ that is likely the most distinctive part of Dfinity’s registered
trademark,” says Jon J. Lee, an associate professor at the University of
Oklahoma College of Law. “Had Meta adopted a similar name, such as Sfinity,
for its brand, that would have made for a stronger claim of infringement.”

But even if Dfinity fails to prove its case, the lawsuit could jeopardize
Meta’s attempts to earn trademark protection for its own 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.”

Neither Dfinity nor Meta responded to a request for comment by publication
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