Facebook the company (aka Meta Platforms Inc.) has filed a trademark application for the wordmark "Meta" on over a thousand kinds of goods and services, including:

Downloadable software allowing users to post questions with answer options

Computer network services; Providing temporary use of non-downloadable software for opinion polling; Providing software allowing users to post questions with answer options

Is this going to affect Stack Exchange, like this very website known as Meta, and is Stack Exchange the company going to do anything about it?

  • 1
    Hm, does copyright have prior art? IANAL, but we've had meta for over a decade... Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 8:59
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    Trademark, patent, or copyright: different things. :-) For trademarks there's prior use, but I think sometimes it doesn't prevent registration, only enforceability. ce9.uscourts.gov/jury-instructions/node/249
    – Nemo
    Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 9:11
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    @RobertColumbia - one can hope
    – Mithical
    Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 9:20
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    Won't be surprised if SE will be forced to change Meta to something else. Facebook are just evil and won't spare anyone. Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 9:26
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    @ShadowWizardIsVaccinatedV3 have you thought for a new name or anyone else Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 9:27
  • @JitendraSingh "backstack" might fit, kind of "backroom" of the sites. Will take time to get used to it, but it would be unique and won't breach any trademarks. Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 9:32
  • @Mithical nah, it's like hoping the world will become a perfect place with no wars and everyone living in peace. It just can't happen, Facebook became a permanent thing that freedom fighters have to fight for all eternity. Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 9:35
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    @ShadowWizardIsVaccinatedV3: LOL! I just read "backstab" instead of "backstack". Might also fit occasionally...
    – honk
    Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 10:25
  • @honk totally!! Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 10:30
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    @honk That’s our new term for the Meta effect. Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 12:10
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    I think bad_coder's answer is the correct one. The application isn't for the word "meta"; it's for the Meta logo, which is attached to the application. IANAL, but this trademark should have no effect on Stack Exchange or its own trademarks, nor its usage of the word "meta" in our context.
    – zcoop98
    Commented Nov 8, 2021 at 17:03
  • 1
    bad_coder’s answer may well be formally correct, but that does not guarantee that Facebook will not do everything in their power to screw us. You know, in my country, the first thing Facebook did after their name change was to delete an account of an NGO that used the name Meta for a decade or so, allegedly for “rule violations”. Commented Nov 10, 2021 at 16:48
  • Now that's funny. The World Economic Forum also applied for a "Meta" trademark. euipo.europa.eu/eSearch/#details/trademarks/W01698653
    – Nemo
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 16:05

1 Answer 1


I think this will only apply to a specific trademark icon combined with the name Meta having the following characteristics:

DESCRIPTION OF THE MARK The mark consists of a blue geometric design consisting of two loops, and the word META in black.

Since the MSE logo is a blue diamond or blue hamburger square I don't think it will apply.


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