On Thursday, November 10, 2022, US District Judge Charles Breyer dismissed Dfinity Foundation’s (“Dfinity”) trademark lawsuit against tech giant Meta Platforms. Inc. (“Meta”), finding that the logos’ differing designs and target audiences were sufficient to avoid consumer confusion. This comes after Facebook, Inc. rebranded as “Meta” in October 2021 to reflect its new focus on the virtual reality metaverse.
Why Did Dfinity Sue Meta?
In May, Dfinity, a Swiss blockchain non-profit organization, sued Meta for trademark infringement, arguing that the tech giant’s logo was confusingly similar to its own. Specifically, Dfinity owns federal trademarks for two infinity symbol logos: one for a “rainbow” logo with several colors and another for a logo with its name underneath in no particular color. Its logos intend to represent an “infinite” public blockchain network used to host smart contracts. Meta’s logo, which was described as a “continuous loop”, resembles the letter “M” and an infinity sign to symbolize “infinite horizons in the metaverse”.
Victory for Meta
His Honor Breyer found that Dfinity had not shown that it had used its uncolored logo in commerce and that its rainbow logo was not sufficiently similar to Meta’s logo to sustain the lawsuit. He stated that the shape and color of Meta’s logo differed from Dfinity’s infinity sign – Meta’s logo is usually blue while Dfinity’s is multicolored. Furthermore, His Honor noted that given Dfinity’s users are “tech-savvy developers” and “immersed in the intricacies of the tech world”, it would be borderline “implausible” for them to be duped by a logo.
While Meta is the victor in this trademark battle, it still faces other trademark lawsuits from virtual-reality company MetaX and investment firm Metacapital over its name change.
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