Facebook is going all in on the “metaverse” and may even change its name to reflect its new focus. But what will that name be? The company’s filings with the US Patent and Trademark Office provide some hints.
Facebook, through its lawyers, has filed seven new trademarks since February, the USPTO database shows. The most recent include a new name, “Stories,” and a symbol, both with broad descriptions of what they would be applied to.
The symbol is already in use for Facebook View, which helps users of the company’s new Ray Ban glasses import, edit and share photos and videos.
While “Stories” has been in use by Facebook’s Instagram for a while, the trademark for the word was filed September 9, the same day as the above symbol, and does not make mention of Instagram. The Stories trademark says the word would apply very broadly, including to all types of AR and VR experiences, development and related data, and “computer hardware and software development tools.”
What the trademarks don’t mention is whether they are a new name or logo for the whole company, as is coming soon, according to The Verge. While speculation of what the new name may be has so far centered on “Meta” and “Horizon,” neither are linked to Facebook filings with the USPTO. A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment.
A trademark would be a typical step by any company before it begins using a new name, logo, or, in many instances, a tagline for advertising. But it is possible that an entity or person can simply start using a term and claim that it did so first, leaving it to claim a trademark by “first use” and file for registration later.
Facebook has hundreds of trademarks for various names and products. And it’s filed a handful of other trademarks this year. One is for “Infinite Office,” the company’s VR office space. It also filed individually for a trio of symbols, pictured below, described as being for a new initiative on internet access for “the global population,” online “educational services,” and a website for “information regarding marketing and advertising of mobile applications.”
“Meta” has been floated on social media as a new name for Facebook. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the nonprofit owned by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, maintains a trademark on that term. It was filed in 2015 and has not been assigned elsewhere, according to USPTO records. Related to that, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was also assigned in 2017 a patent for a “meta-knowledge network” but one that specifies use in “scientific, technical, medical and scholarly information.”
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative also filed in August for a trademark of the word “Continuum.” That, too, has a more specific definition, in that it describes use for “downloadable computer software for educational curricula” and various education services, including “developing curricula for others on various academic subjects.”
Two other trademarks the nonprofit filed for in the past year are “Opencell” and “Along.” The first is for use related to scientific research and education in cell biology and other related sciences. The second is for an online platform offering communication between teachers and students.