Spark Trader Limited reports：
Facebook recently announced that it had changed its name to Meta as part of its company-wide growth plan.
However, shortly after the announcement, it became clear that the social media giant had failed to secure trademark rights for “Meta” before taking action. That would not only impose a huge financial cost on Facebook, but could also affect its reputation and the success of its growth plans.
Unless a business actively explores the trademark registration process, it may not know that other businesses use the same brand. Once a trademark is registered, owners have the right to take action against those who infringe their trademark, so if brands don’t do a thorough search, they can find themselves in trouble. Developing a strong brand image is much easier when companies gain the legal right to use a particular brand name.
Whether a company is just starting up or going through a brand reorganization, there are two main considerations when it comes to trademarks: name and logo. Both should conduct extensive research to ensure that they do not intersect with existing brands in their target markets. As the world becomes more digital and animated logos become more common, companies might even consider registering a trademark with a moving image, such as one used on a company website.
There are several key steps to follow when conducting trademark due diligence. The first is clear search, which tells businesses whether their brand infringes on another company’s existing trademark. It is important to investigate similar names as well as the exact names and a comprehensive clean-up process will cover this. It may be tempting to take the easy route and only search for publicly accessible trademark registrations, but these do not necessarily exist in all jurisdictions, so it is possible to find them.
Assuming Facebook conducts a trademark clearance search, names like Meta PC and Meta Company, which have attacked the Company’s renaming, will be flagged. Universal search can also flag whether any brand has been using the desired name for a long period of time without registering it as a trademark. This can still cause problems for new brands.
It is also important to check domain names in case the planned domain name is already occupied. Next, the company can buy domain names from existing owners or differentiate their own.
While there is no clear link to trademark rights, companies should not forget to check whether names can be translated into different languages, especially if they are a global brand. For example, Facebook may not have realized that it means “death” in Hebrew when it chose the word Meta. It’s hard to build a market presence with brands that alienate certain audiences.
Facebook isn’t the only big company struggling with its rebranding. When Google chose “Alphabet” as the name for its parent company, it found that hundreds of small businesses had actually used the name. However, this is not the only problem, the letter logo is already owned by BMW. While having the same name is not an issue if the two companies are not linked in terms of services, BMW is a car manufacturer and Google has a range of self-driving cars, which means there is potential for controversy. However, perhaps because Alphabet is not Google’s public name, there is no need to file an infringement suit.
While Google has escaped legal action, the consequences of trademark infringement can be hugely damaging to a company’s finances and reputation. In terms of money, the company may find itself having to buy trademarks from existing owners, as Meta PC has asked Facebook to do. Then there is the cost of defending infringements, with legal fees rising the longer a case goes on. If a company is forced to completely change its brand, then it has to go through a redesign and due diligence process, which will cost more money.
There is also reputational damage from infringing another company’s intellectual property. This could be particularly problematic for countries trying to use their fiscal muscle to solve problems. Tort consequences can also take a lot of time. When companies go through the legal process — or another rebranding — they can lose the opportunity to sell their products.
article links：All this is reflected in the importance of trademarks
Reprint indicated source：Spark Trader Limited information