Monster Cable: We're Not Trademark Monsters (TM)
from the of-course-that's-what-they-say dept
Regardless of what false representations have been circulated about Monster, we are not a faceless corporate giant out to squash legitimate business concerns and rising entrepreneurs. We are in fact, a family-owned company that relies heavily on our brand name and reputation in order to continue serving our customers. We have always tried to provide our customers with the highest performance products at an affordable price.There is a lot to respond to here, and we'll let folks in the comments respond to the questions over "affordable price" since Monster is notorious for being quite high priced. However, I'm not sure why it matters that it's a family-owned company. It doesn't change the fact that it's being overly aggressive and abusing the purpose of trademark law. It tries to paint its activities as being perfectly normal, but that's simply not true. We see a lot of trademark lawsuits around here, and Monster is definitely a lot more combative on trademark than most companies.
While we are best known for our cable products, we also manufacture high performance accessories in business areas ranging in home theater, computing, gaming, portable entertainment and power management. To protect these business areas, we have sought and been awarded trademarks for each respective category. In addition to the areas above, in the past 30 years, we have also expanded the categories including sports and other lifestyle ventures. According to the trademark law, we must enforce our marks or we will lose them and they will become generic.
We were trying our best to avoid the lawsuit, and we are trying our best to settle the lawsuit.
As for the claims that because its products work in other areas, that these trademark suits are legit -- that's simply incorrect. What a trademark covers is specific to what the companies does, and the tests concern whether or not there's customer confusion or brand dilution, and anyone would be pretty hard pressed to claim that Monster Mini Golf confuses anyone or damages Monster Cable's brand name in any way.
As for the claim that it must enforce or lose the trademarks, this is a common myth about trademark law. It is true that you need to enforce the uses of the mark -- but only in those direct markets. In the case of Monster Mini Golf or the deer salt lick, such usage will have no impact on making Monster Cable's brand generic and either they know it, or they're getting terrible legal advice. Tellingly, Monster Cable does not respond to the charges many have leveled that after either blocking a trademark application or suing others, Monster Cable then licenses back the Monster name to those who it stopped. As such it becomes pretty clear that it's not at all about stopping the name's usage and that the usage is clearly not confusing. So, Monster Cable may not consider itself a trademark monster, but it should show that with actions, not words.
Update: Ah, well, great. Monster Cable is now claiming that it's dropped the lawsuit against Monster Mini-Golf but is still demanding a licensing fee of $100/month, while claiming that it will contribute that and its own matching funds to charity. While it's great that Monster has dropped the lawsuit, it's ridiculous that the company is still demanding a license fee. Also, the company should at least admit that the only reason it's dropping this is all of the negative publicity generated by its heavy handed attempt to attack a business in a totally unrelated market.