Court orders Meta to cease using name in Brazil

A Meta logo is seen at the Viva Technology conference dedicated to innovation and startups at Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris, France, June 14, 2023. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - A Sao Paulo-court ordered Facebook-parent Meta to stop using its name in Brazil within 30 days, after a local computer services provider with the same name filed a lawsuit saying it has been damaged by third parties confusing the companies.

The decision is from Wednesday and was reported late evening on Thursday by Brazilian newspaper Valor.

Meta, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The decision can be appealed by Mark Zuckerberg's tech company.

The Barueri-based firm Meta Servicos, which registered its brand in the late 2000s with Brazils's National Institute for Intellectual Property, said in the judicial process that since Zuckerberg's company changed its name in 2021, it had been wrongly included in more than 100 lawsuits and had Instagram profiles disabled for supposedly impersonating another.

An appeals court in Sao Paulo ruled that U.S. Meta must pay 100,000 reais ($20,201) per day if it fails to comply with the decision.

The company, formerly called Facebook, changed its name in a rebrand that focused on building the "metaverse," a shared virtual environment that it bet would be the successor to the mobile internet.

($1 = 4.9503 reais)

(Reporting by Alberto Alerigi Jr. and Patricia Vilas Boas in Sao Paulo; additional reporting and writing by Andre Romani; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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