Malaysia Meta Group’s trademark shared similar logo and name with Facebook’s new name called “META”

Figure 1 (Michael Nagle/Getty Images & Dato Anthony’s Cheng FB)

In the latest Facebook’s announcement in rebranding its corporate name to ‘Meta’, Malaysian Entrepreneur Datuk Anthony Cheng claimed that his company, Meta Group’s name and logo is similar to that of Facebook’s new name and logo.

Back in 2019, the founder of the company, Datuk Anthony Cheng had filed to trademark the right in the word “Meta” and the “inverted 8” infinity symbol under class 35 for retailing of Feng Shui products, online retail services, advertising, business management/ administration and office functions which is right in Facebook’s wheelhouse. While Meta Group’s trademark petition hasn’t yet been granted, Meta Group still have a lead on Facebook if Mark Zuckerberg tries to claim it for his rebranded company in Malaysia.

In the event there’s a “trademark battle” between the two companies over the name of “Meta” in Malaysia, will the outcome be the same to the “Apple vs. Proview” iPad case happened in Mainland China? In the “iPad dispute”, Proview had claimed that it owned the rights to the iPad name in the Chinese marker after registering it in 2000. After a long overdue battle, Apple has agreed to pay USD 60 million to Proview to settle a dispute involving rights to the “iPad” name.

Besides that, Facebook’s new corporate name “Meta” also challenged by an Arizona-based company called Meta PCs. Meta PCs have filed on August 23 to trademark ‘Meta’ for computers, laptops, tablets, software and more items relating to tech, which is two months prior to Facebook’s trademark filing. The founders of Meta PCs said that they will relent on the trademark if Mark Zuckerberg is willing to pay at least USD 20 million (~RM83 million). In view of Meta PC’s trademark hasn’t been granted yet, so whether the company gets it instead of Facebook is still remain unknown.

At the same time, the Chinese Tech Giant, “Baidu” has also recently rushed to apply for the registration of the “MetaApp” trademark in China soon after Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement of renaming Facebook to “Meta” in hopes of capitalizing on this growing space.

As many companies is looking at their plan to delve into the space of Metaverse and beyond, strategizing a trademark to secure a maximum protection of their mark is extremely important. Recent years statistic has shown that intangible assets are dominating the value of the America’s largest companies, this demonstrates what makes a company valuable today are its patents, trademarks and brand.

Value of trademarked brands

According to the Best Global Brands 2020 ranking, Apple is ranked the most valuable brand in the world with an estimated value of almost USD 323 billion. Yes, the brand, not the company. The market value of Apple is just over USD 2 trillion as opposed to the brand value estimated at USD 323 billion.

You might be tempted to ask what makes Apple brand so successful? This is because Apple’s iconic branding strategy has always focused on emotion, Apple has put a lot of care in designing every interaction that customers have with Apple’s products, software and even buying experience to delight them. That is what many of their consumers are paying a premium for: a symbol of status that is driven by emotion, not practicality. The power of Apple brand has received among its hardcore fanbase who will think “I want this because it’s an Apple iPhone” instead of “I want this because it’s a Dual-SIM, 64GB, 12-megapixel hexa-core processing smartphone”. That means not only the value of the tangible but also the logo of Apple brand, intangible assets associated with what makes Apple the highest of any company ever.

As can be seen from “Apple brand”, a logo brings intangible value to a company. It is fundamental to trademark your brand to legally protects your brand’s identity in the marketplace to prohibit competitors from stealing the brand image or creating substantially similar products to confuse potential customer. Your logo unifies your brand image across different kinds of products and services. Consumers will recognize a company based on the logo. Hence, don’t let others take advantage of that. Registering and protecting your trade marks not only protecting your core business assets, but also in certain circumstances it can also realize value in unexpected ways.

Learn more on Trademark in Malaysia here or contact us today for further advice on any of your trademark concerns.

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