A Monstrous Trademark Dispute That Has Nothing To Do With Monster Cable

from the monster-mash dept

We've seen so many stories about trademark disputes involving Monster Cable that, as soon as I saw that Jonathan had submitted a story about a trademark dispute over the word "monster," I assumed it must involve them. But... nope. No such luck. This particular dispute involves Monster Energy Drink complaining about the attempted national trademark on Vermonster beer, a play on the fact that the beer is from Vermont. The guy behind Vermonster called up the energy drink company's lawyer, and said there shouldn't be a problem since he wasn't going into the energy drink business, and as long as MED stayed out of the beer business, there wouldn't be an issue. But the lawyers for Monster Energy Drink said no deal. The Vermonster guy says he's going to fight it, even if it costs a bunch of money to take on MED, saying that it's a question of principles. Maybe we can have Monster Cable try to arbitrate a solution...


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    Lucretious, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 3:58pm

    Its too bad a start-up has to waste money on such crap. Rather than growing his business he has to fight the parasites.

    Maybe one day the legal profession will actually contribute something meaningful to the 21st century.

     

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    Grey Ferret, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 3:59pm

    This will surely lead to all sorts of confusion for the consumer. Now, is it the beer or the energy drink that helps me find a job? I'm so confused already...

     

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    Trails, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 4:18pm

    But yer ociffership!

    I though' *hic* I wash drinkin' ther uhhhh henergy drin', no ther beer.

    I shaw the label shaid Monshter an ahhhh errr fergin mesh anna innit fer thefergeferrrrrr... five dollarsh!?!?!?

    Not guilty, yer 'onourfullnesh!!!

     

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    william (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 4:30pm

    "Maybe we can have Monster Cable try to arbitrate a solution..."

    no no no, that won't do at all.

    What we need is for Monster Cable and Monster energy drink to sue each other.

     

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    Rabbit80, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 4:47pm

    Next we will have the MAFIAA suing Rockstar energy drinks...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 4:52pm

    Surely Vermont will get involved in the lawsuit as well and waste tax payer money.

    "The Vermonster guy says he's going to fight it, even if it costs a bunch of money to take on MED, saying that it's a question of principles."
    Yeah right, till he gets the first bill from his legal team. I doubt they are going to take beer as payment...and if they do, he probably won't win.

    BTW Monster Cable still SUCKS!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 5:09pm

    Ben & Jerry

    Isn't Ben & Jerry's "too big to eat" sundae also called the "Vermonster"? Maybe we can get a 3-way lawsuit!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 5:33pm

    What a horrible name for a beer. It probably tastes like a monster too :S

     

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    teknosapien (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 5:39pm

    This is funny onmany levels

    First off Vermontster as a name has been around longer than monster energy drink -- growing up in that part of the country I find it amusing that some one would even try to sue over a local verbiage dispute but then again being from new England I'm wondering when my use of "Wicked" will be called into question

     

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    James, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 6:45pm

    You've got it wrong Mike!

    Monster (Cable) should very obviously sue Vermonster Beer! Its very clear, that no one in their right mind can tell the difference between (over-priced) accessories and something you drink.

     

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    Sheinen, Oct 10th, 2009 @ 4:03am

    Vermonster is probably the worst name I've ever heard for a beer! He should change the name, not because of a Law Suit but because he'll probably sell more!

     

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    James, Oct 10th, 2009 @ 6:21pm

    VerMonster

    The parasite is the VerMONSTER guy trying to rip off the hard work and success of Monster Energy. This is clear Trademark infringement. The beer guy is so uneducated he thinks he has a Vermont Trademark. Didn't any of these lawyers he allegedly talked to mention that only the Federal USPTO issues Trademarks, not the states.

    He wants to be portrayed as a victim. He is really a thief when you get right down to it. Call it VerPepsi instead, I'm sure that will be fine.

     

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      Eric, Oct 14th, 2009 @ 3:32pm

      Re: VerMonster

      Guess what - there are lots of things which use the term "Vermonster" in Vermont, and Vermonters are not suing each other. Aside, the government of Vermont has very specific criteria for using "Product of Vermont", "Made in Vermont" and the like, so - as someone above mentioned - perhaps the State lawyers will get involved to head off any left coast wacko who thinks that Vermonters are so uneducated that they will confuse Beer with Energy drinks that even remotely resemble the name of their state. The "uneducated Vermonter" has a trademark already, so - he and his lawyers are probably clear where they applied for a trademark. Check this out smart guy: http://cgi2.sec.state.vt.us/cgi-shl/nhayer.exe. That would be the link to the Vermonster Trademark listing on the Vermont Secretary of State. There is also"Vermonster 4 x4" "The Vermonster" donut, "Vermonsters" non profit, "Vermonsters Day Care". I am sure those would also be as confusing as Monster cables (Hansen lost that too).

      Hansen has replied in their letter, no so much about the confusion of the products now, but that they INTEND to (don't know when, but some time in the future) enter the alcoholic beverage market. They have not yet done that (because that line of defense is BS since Miller wanted to enter the energy drink market and flopped, was accused of marketing to kids - simply the reverse here- so I don't see that ever happening), and they did not register the name for alcoholic beverages. Rockart Brewery did. They forgot to register MONSTER and MONSTER ENERGY in Australia, sued the people that did - and guess what - they lost. Even against another company making an energy drink, who registered the name AFTER Monster was already operating in the US. Hansen spent over $150 million in advertising in 4 years, they could have earmarked a little more for trademark lawyers up front - and then Vermonster beer never would have been issued their trademark in the first place. ya think? You're such a smart guy - do a little research before you put your size 7 shoe in your size 12 mouth. Monster should just blame this whole PR mess on lousy lawyers and fire the lawyers (giving them a great exit package) and get on with selling their over priced junk to little kids. Leave the craftsman alone.

       

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        Eric, Oct 14th, 2009 @ 3:34pm

        Re: Re: VerMonster

        (oops) retraction: Hansen did not loose the cables. But I bet they boycott Monster cables on principle.

         

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      Eric, Oct 14th, 2009 @ 3:36pm

      Re: VerMonster

      Guess what - there are lots of things which use the term "Vermonster" in Vermont, and Vermonters are not suing each other. Aside, the government of Vermont has very specific criteria for using "Product of Vermont", "Made in Vermont" and the like, so - as someone above mentioned - perhaps the State lawyers will get involved to head off any left coast wacko who thinks that Vermonters are so uneducated that they will confuse Beer with Energy drinks that even remotely resemble the name of their state. The "uneducated Vermonter" has a trademark already, so - he and his lawyers are probably clear where they applied for a trademark. Check this out smart guy: http://cgi2.sec.state.vt.us/cgi-shl/nhayer.exe. That would be the link to the Vermonster Trademark listing on the Vermont Secretary of State. There is also"Vermonster 4 x4" "The Vermonster" donut, "Vermonsters" non profit, "Vermonsters Day Care". I am sure those would also be as confusing as Monster cables (Hansen lost that too).

      Hansen has replied in their letter, no so much about the confusion of the products now, but that they INTEND to (don't know when, but some time in the future) enter the alcoholic beverage market. They have not yet done that (because that line of defense is BS since Miller wanted to enter the energy drink market and flopped, was accused of marketing to kids - simply the reverse here- so I don't see that ever happening), and they did not register the name for alcoholic beverages. Rockart Brewery did. They forgot to register MONSTER and MONSTER ENERGY in Australia, sued the people that did - and guess what - they lost. Even against another company making an energy drink, who registered the name AFTER Monster was already operating in the US. Hansen spent over $150 million in advertising in 4 years, they could have earmarked a little more for trademark lawyers up front - and then Vermonster beer never would have been issued their trademark in the first place. ya think? You're such a smart guy - do a little research before you put your size 7 shoe in your size 12 mouth. Monster should just blame this whole PR mess on lousy lawyers and fire the lawyers (giving them a great exit package) and get on with selling their over priced junk to little kids. Leave the craftsman alone.

       

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    Fred McTaker (profile), Oct 11th, 2009 @ 1:35am

    Trademark common words?

    This case shows exactly why no one should be allowed to trademark common or dictionary words. It's my understanding that such simple trademarks can only be enforced in coordination with the use of a specific logo and/or font with the use of the word. Otherwise the common use makes it too ambiguous to be enforceable, thus rendering the trademark unusable. Otherwise, what's keeping someone from trademarking the word "Best", and suing anyone who claims to have the "Best [Thing]" in any given product area?

     

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    Derek Kerton (profile), Oct 12th, 2009 @ 2:34pm

    Jim Henson On The OuijaPhone

    Hey, I've got Jim Henson on my Ouija line, and he's telling me he'd like me to get involved on his behalf. I said he needed a lawyer, and he said he'd listen to me half-way and get a medium.

    Apparently, he says the Cookie Monster is pissed, since any usage of Monster in reference to food and beverages is owned by him. And nobody should think he got soft just because he became a vegetarian who now says that "cookies are just a 'sometimes snack'."

    Well, I'm going back to my board and these ghosts . We're hanging out drinking these Monster energ...whoa...oops, my bad. I think I'm wasted. Damn, I could go for a cookie.

     

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    Robin, Oct 14th, 2009 @ 6:40pm

    internet advocacy

    just following up on this story (seeing as i'm local to it :) ), and it seems to have grown some real legs.

    as of this writing, there's now a 5,000+ fan group on facebook in support of rock art brewery:

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=171894902802

    front page news on the consumerist, trending strongly on twitter, tons of local support of course!, and lots of national coverage.

    in reading comments here and there, i'm guessing that hansens and their execs are receiving lots of e-mails too.

    let's see what happens. good luck matt and renee!!

     

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    asdf, Nov 8th, 2009 @ 10:20pm

    http://www.galaxyhandbags.com

     

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    Weah!, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 10:55pm

    Cookies

    Actually, Mr. Henson, I believe Steppenwolf is due all credit on this one...

    I would recommend DOJ condemn Hansen and rename their product Pervster...

    Then we could raise new generations of bottlenose dolphins in large tanks of the stuff and research a way to unwind our glucose issues.

     

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