Monster Mini Golf Using eBay To Fight Monster Cable's Trademark Lawsuit
from the good-for-them dept
Monster Cable is famously litigious over its trademark — suing just about anyone who uses the name “Monster” as a part of their corporate offering. Most of these lawsuits are bogus — as trademark only covers the specific areas of business you’re in, and doesn’t give you complete control over the name. Thus, if you make a salt lick for deer called Monster Deer Block, you shouldn’t have to worry about a lawsuit from Monster Cable… but you’d still get one, as pretty much everyone from the TV show Monster Garage to the Boston Red Sox (for the “Monster seats” on top of the “Green Monster” wall in left field) have found out.
Earlier this year, the company went after a small mini-golf operation in California called Monster Mini Golf, which we doubted anyone would confuse with the cable makers. Apparently, that wasn’t the only Monster Mini Golf that Monster’s lawyers were busy hassling. Chris Collett alerts us to the fact that a Rhode Island based Monster Mini Golf is also facing a lawsuit, and asking for help. But, there’s an interesting twist here. The company is pleading it’s case on eBay, and asking people to contribute to its defense fund via eBay. I’m not sure if this goes against eBay’s terms of service, though I hope it doesn’t. (Update: It did go against eBay’s ToS, so it was taken down — but the company has put up a new auction for a coupon at Monster Mini Golf which will serve the same purpose):
BUT…one man is destined to crush what we have built. He is the founder of Monster Cable Inc. (a company that makes Audio cables) and he’s suing us for “Trademark Infringement”.
In a nutshell, trademark infringement is based solely on “Likelihood of Confusion”, or essentially, “could the average consumer be confused between the two?”. The answer is no, as decided by the Patent and Trademark Office when they granted our trademarks, but Monster Cable Inc filed an opposition against that decision, and sued us.
To this day, this one man has opposed approx 400 companies…and it doesn’t look like he EVER intends to stop. This is the true meaning of Corporate Bully.
Their tactic is to run the smaller companies out of money, and force them into a settlement where they surrender their name to Monster Cable Inc, who then licenses it back to them for a fee. Yes, so then we would be paying him for a concept and business we created and have worked very hard for! It is essentially extortion, but sadly, it is cheaper than going to trial, which can be crippling to small businesses like ours.
Unlike the 414 companies he has forced into settlement by bleeding them dry…. we have decided to continue on and fight the good fight. We have chosen to stand up for anyone who has ever been bullied, picked on, abused, or otherwise forced into an unfair or unjust situation by a bigger, stronger, (or in this case, richer) opponent.
Each small business that was forced to sign over their name is one more brick in the massive Monster Cable Inc wall, held together by the blood of those crushed beneath their corporate wheels. It is very very sad.
So far our legal fees are well over $100,000. (And counting) and will likely reach $250,000 when all is said and done. No wonder why 400 companies have waived the white flag!! 250K is the cost of “Winning”!! We need your help, we cannot afford to do it alone. Wondering if this is real or not…just google Monster Mini Golf and Cable. Or visit audioholics web site and you will also read about many other cases there as well.
What we are selling is a “Piece” of our legal defense and a small slice of Justice to you for $1. Yep, just a buck….and as Sally Struthers once said, that’s less than a cup of coffee! Geez…at Starbucks, it wouldn’t even buy you that!
In return for your gracious purchase, you will receive a heartfelt “Thank You” from us and the knowledge that you have helped defeat a corporate bully who has been abusing the legal system for years! And, if you print your paypal receipt and take it to any Monster Mini Golf location, we’ll take $2 Off a round of Mini Golf! (that’s double your money back! Reg price for 18 holes is between $5.50-$7.50)
This is interesting, as I hadn’t heard that Monster Cable was apparently selling the Monster name back to people it bullied. That’s even more obnoxious — and a clear abuse of trademark law. Also, it’s been a while since we’ve seen companies using eBay auctions for PR, so maybe that’s making a comeback. Either way, if you want to help stop one of the biggest trademark bullies out there, maybe try to buy a share of the legal defenses, and hope eBay doesn’t take the auction down.