Facebook paid $60 million for the meta trademark

Facebook paid a lot of money for the name ‘Meta’ which first belonged to a small bank. The $60 million purchase shows how serious Facebook is about the metaverse.

Big deal for trademark

Facebook’s ambitions are such that the social media giant recently paid a South Dakota bank $60 million to acquire the trademark rights to the “Meta” name.

Facebook (which was renamed Meta in October) used a shell company called Beige Key LLC to make this happen. The deal is notable for its size. While $60 million may not sound like much for a company with a market cap of $928 billion, it’s a huge amount in the brand world.

Owning a trademark gives its owner additional leverage when it comes to stopping competitors from using specific words, phrases, or logos. However, it does not prevent someone from using the same name for a related product.

In a typical trademark deal, a buyer pays not only to acquire a name, but also for the goodwill customers associate with a particular product. In the case of Meta Financial, the goodwill comes from the regional banks in South Dakota and Iowa. It also comes from online payment products that, according to the bank, promote financial inclusion.

While Facebook handles payments through its crypto wallet Novi, Meta Financial’s operations have little to do with Facebook’s traditional social media businesses or the metaverse.

This suggests the $60 million deal could serve as a Facebook power play. In this way they can prevent others from using the terms ‘meta’ or ‘metaverse’. Alexandra Roberts, a trademark law professor at the University of New Hampshire, suggested the same on Twitter: