Monster Energy Loses Appeal On Monsta Pizza Trademark Ruling

from the monster-loss dept

Monster Energy, maker of caffeinated liquid crank, has a long and legendary history of being roughly the most obnoxious trademark bully on the planet. It faces stiff competition in this arena of bad, of course, but it has always put up quite a fight to win that title. The company either sues or attempts to block trademarks for everything that could even possibly be barely linked to the term “monster” in any way. One such case was its opposition to a trademark registration for Monsta Pizza in the UK. Pizza is, of course, not a beverage, but that didn’t stop Monster Energy from trying to keep the pizza chain from its name. It lost that opposition, with the IPO pointing out that its citizens are not stupid enough to be confused between drinks and pizza.

And that should have been the end of the story, except that this is Monster Energy we’re talking about, so of course it appealed its loss. Its grounds for appeal amounted to “Nuh-uh! The public really might be confused!” Thankfully, Monster Energy lost this appeal as well.

However, the bid was rejected “in its entirety” at the Court of Appeal.

Chris Dominey, who founded travelling pizzeria Monsta with Christopher Lapham in 2017, said he had been “immensely relieved” to reach the end of the battle but the business remained in debt due to legal fees which could not be recouped.

He said: “It feels great, I have got my business back, and it does feel good to beat a ‘big bully’ so to speak. If you are confident that you are right you should go for it, but but I would tell other small businesses to beware that it does cost a lot of money.”

He’s not kidding. In all, Dominey’s business is out over eight thousand pounds in legal costs, having only been able to recover a fraction of what it cost him to defend his business against what appears to be a completely frivolous trademark opposition. That’s how trademark bullying works, of course. Large companies like Monster Energy rely on that onerous cost to be able to get away with its spurious demands. That simply is not how trademark law is supposed to work.

But in the modern age, there are ways a business can get its customers to help fight back against such bullying.

The business uses a monster-shaped pizza oven, which its logo is designed to represent, meaning a name change would have required considerable upheaval. Mr Dominey thanked people who contributed to a crowdfunding campaign which helped pay for some of the legal costs, and those who “gave us support and told us to keep fighting”.

The world needs more companies like Monsta Pizza fighting back against this kind of bullying to have a more global impact on trademark bullying. For now, we’ll just have to enjoy another Monster Energy loss.

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Companies: monsta pizza, monster energy

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Comments on “Monster Energy Loses Appeal On Monsta Pizza Trademark Ruling”

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20 Comments
Discuss It (profile) says:

Abuse

I think that if companies want a "three strikes law", then we should have a "three strikes law" on trademark and copyright abuse. Abuse the system three times, you loose your right to trademark or copyright. On four strikes, you are automatically bankrupted and put out of business, and all officers should be interdicted from ever serving on a board of directors for life, along with disbarring their attorneys for 10 years for a first offense, and for life upon a second conviction.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

If only the law stopped thinking that corporations are always right.
The penalties are always lined up against the little guys, but when a corporation does something that allegedly has a penalty there are no teeth in that law.

Corporations would bitch & scream about how unfair making them pay for pointless lawsuits they bring that lack in merit, but as a society we need to demand the playing field be leveled, that all men (and pesudo-man corporate entities) get the full & fair measure of the law.

Imagine if in the 1st or 2nd bullying case Monster brought they were handed a loss & the bill for their targets costs. We wouldn’t be on meritless lawsuit 5000, they would have fired the firms that rubbed their hands together to get that retainer & earned every penny by destroying another company that an brain damaged exec at Monster thinks infringes on their dumbass logo.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

All your problems emanate from the fact that section 230 allows for the average person to wear a self made tin foil hat.

Obviously people need to purchase their tin foil hats from a reputable dealer who has properly licensed said hat intellectual properties, such as the trademark, patent and copyright.

These dirty filthy pirates are stealing all our IP!!!!!111111

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