Notice: Techdirt may be unreachable at times tonight between 9 & 11 PM PT due to datacenter maintenance.Hide

Monster Energy Drink Hires Trademark Bully To Go After Beverage Review Site

from the just-can't-get-enough dept

Just a couple weeks ago, we wrote about the ridiculous story of Monster Energy Drink trying to stop a small Vermont brewery from offering Vermonster beer, claiming trademark infringement. The whole thing seemed ridiculous, but now we have a clue as to what's going on. Against Monopoly alerts us to yet another, but even more questionable trademark complaint by Monster Energy Drink -- this time against a beverage review site. Writing a review of a product is not trademark infringement. However, the Against Monopoly writeup focused on the organization "representing" Monster Energy Drink and its parent company (Hansen's) -- and we immediately recognized the name from an earlier story. Continental Enterprises is a firm that gets big brands to give it the right to "represent" them in trademark issues -- and then goes hunting for anything that it can claim is trademark infringement, even if the use is clearly not infringing (such as a review site). According to reports, CE works (at least in part) on a commission basis -- where it gets a cut of whatever money it squeezes out of others. So it has little incentive to make sure the infringement is real. It just wants to get as much money as possible. I have no idea if the Vermonster dispute also involves Continental Enterprises, but going after a beverage review site is pretty ridiculous. This can't be doing good things for the Monster Energy Drink brand.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    Designerfx (profile), 19 Oct 2009 @ 12:21pm

    hmm

    it should be noted that 2 links deep, the explanation of how CE works, is not working, but it works here.

    http://www.tabberone.com/Trademarks/HallOfShame/CyberCops/ContinentalEnterprises/Continenta lEnterprises.shtml

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Poster, 19 Oct 2009 @ 12:27pm

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Griper, 19 Oct 2009 @ 12:32pm

    Trademark and the military

    I've always wondered about trademarks and the military. Specifically with terms like the rescue chopper the Vietnam vets called the Jolly Green Giant. Now obviously they are not talking about the canned vegetables but a big hulking machine. I don't think I've ever heard about trademark dispute concerning the military or even documentaries mentioning the trademark outside the brand.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Dark Helmet (profile), 19 Oct 2009 @ 12:38pm

      Re: Trademark and the military

      Yeah, you usually don't do a lot of arguing with the groups that literally have the missles and guns.

      Kennedy tried to do that. Didn't work out real well for him, either....

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      interval, 19 Oct 2009 @ 2:30pm

      Re: Trademark and the military

      "Specifically with terms like the rescue chopper the Vietnam vets called the Jolly Green Giant. Now obviously they are not talking about the canned vegetables but a big hulking machine. I don't think I've ever heard about trademark dispute concerning the military or even documentaries mentioning the trademark outside the brand."

      That's because the term for the HH-3E was coined by GIs, and did in fact refer to the Green Giant Food Co. icon. So attempts by the army (or whomever) to copy-right the name would have been foolish.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Avatar28, 19 Oct 2009 @ 4:28pm

        Re: Re: Trademark and the military

        Actually, a somewhat related situation occurred a few years ago. During the YF-22/YF-23 competition days, several companies made games based on the available information, including the plane's moniker, Raptor. Lockheed started threatening to sue unless companies paid for a license and there was talk of an exclusive license. The Air Force stepped in a quashed that real quick. Their stance was something to the effect of the plane is built under contract for the US Govt and, as such, NOBODY was going to be getting exclusive rights.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2009 @ 6:43am

          Re: Re: Re: Trademark and the military

          Actually, the USAF eventually stepped aside, LMC secured, and continues to secure, trademarks, the right to use such trademarks was licensed to various product manufacturers, and life goes on...

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ben in TX (profile), 19 Oct 2009 @ 12:40pm

    Monster vs. Monster

    How can we pit Monster Cable against Monster Energy Drink in some sort of trade war? I'd love to see those two eat each other.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2009 @ 12:50pm

    Cant the guy getting the suit just send a link to the legal decision making review sites fine for trademark then end all contact?

    Or is there something in court where the defendant wont (cant) show and you auto win regardless of your case? (sue Pepsi for 10 $, no one from Pepsi shows, win 10$ from Pepsi?)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Urza9814, 19 Oct 2009 @ 1:22pm

      Re:

      No, you can't sue Pepsi for $10 then win when nobody shows up. The minimum amount you can sue for is $20 :)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2009 @ 2:07pm

      Re:

      If you sue a company, they have to provide legal representation in court by law. Thus it is usually less costly to just concede and hand over your money. total fail.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kevin M, 19 Oct 2009 @ 1:07pm

    Choices

    I have always preferred Rockstar to Monster Energy Drinks anyway, but thanks for this post. When I am a consumer and I am making a choice in the beverage aisle I will remember that Hansen's supported such an effort.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Zaven (profile), 19 Oct 2009 @ 1:20pm

    What would happen if Monster Energy Drinks sued Monster Cable. Stupid lawsuit battle begin.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      wvhillbilly (profile), 20 Oct 2009 @ 8:33pm

      Re: Zaven

      What would happen if Monster Energy Drinks sued Monster Cable

      I'd call it payback for all the frivolous lawsuits Monster Cable filed over its trademark.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    scott, 19 Oct 2009 @ 1:22pm

    "spam"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Sean T Henry (profile), 19 Oct 2009 @ 1:24pm

    As for the beer company change "Vermonster beer" to Vermontster beer

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    James, 19 Oct 2009 @ 1:44pm

    Assinine

    Whenever someone files a bogus trademark, servicemark, copyright or patent claim without proper cause or evidence, it should be quickly denied and 3x the damages they were suing for should be paid to the defendant.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2009 @ 2:07pm

    Merely as a sidebar, I noted from the linked article that the letter from the company was signed by its general counsel. I am not quite sure how to put this politely, but she had better give some real serious thought to the rules of professional practice that apply in the state in which she is admitted. She represents the company by whom she is employed. She does not represent the trademark holders. The letter can easily be viewed as one originating from an attorney representing the trademark holders, which implicates a breach of the rules governing the practice of law. This raises numerous issues that state bars generally take quite seriously and view quite negatively.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2009 @ 2:30pm

    So what stops random low ball lawsuits from starting all over the place? If I wanted to make a little cash why cant I sue for something like 100 bucks because I cut my lip on a coke can?

    Then a whole bunch of people do the same thing, (small amount, minor compliant, costs more to defend then to pay off)

    Its even worse if your unemployed with few resources to take if your completely full of BS?

    Its free money!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Griffon, 19 Oct 2009 @ 4:04pm

    I know I swor them off

    I know that I have decided to swear off off monster energy drink until this nonsense stops. To bad too, I liked their blue can swill. I just can't abide companies that trek this kind of garbage through are system or around it at legal gun point.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AnonCow, 19 Oct 2009 @ 5:15pm

    Most people that consume "energy drinks" are illiterate morons, so I doubt this will have much effect on Monster's business...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    RT Cunningham (profile), 19 Oct 2009 @ 10:25pm

    Professional Internet Marketers take on Monster Energy

    Hi Mike. It looks to me like Hansen picked the wrong people to pick on. Professional internet marketers are on the warpath. If you want to see what I mean, take a look here: http://makemoneyforbeginners.blogspot.com/2009/10/monster-energy-drink-vs-vermonster-beer.h tml

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ben, 20 Oct 2009 @ 12:43am

    IDK, to me this shouts "HEY WE ARE GOING BANKRUPT SOON! SELL OUR STOCKS!" I think if you cant get by selling your product, you sue people for weird stuff. Record labels suing dead people for infringement / record labels having market and money issues. See where I am going with this.

    STOCK TIP: Sell Hansen's/Monster Energy

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Aaron Williamson (profile), 20 Oct 2009 @ 1:47pm

    The Monsters of trademark enforcement

    I am dying for Monster Energy Drink to meet Monster Cable in a no-holds-barred trademark-overenforcement cage match. How has this not happened already? Or have I missed it? Who caved to whom?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Echo, 20 Oct 2009 @ 5:03pm

      Re: The Monsters of trademark enforcement

      I was just about to post exactly the same thing. Monster Cable has gone to extreme lengths in the past to litigate any perceived infringement. Well, Monster Cable, "sic 'em"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    wvhillbilly (profile), 20 Oct 2009 @ 8:24pm

    Monster Cable revisited?

    This sounds a lot like Monster Cable's tactics some years ago. At that time they were suing anyone and everyone who used the word "monster" in any kind of commercial context for infringing their trademark. From mom-and-pop clothing stores to Walt Disney, any business with "monster" in its name was a potential target. Disney was sued over the title of its movie, "Monsters Inc."

    Hopefully they've abandoned that, but I'm not for sure if they have.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Billy D, 21 Oct 2009 @ 9:57am

    More To The Emotional Side

    On the emotional and irrational side of the issue, this video blogger rips arse on the subject. he takes Monster to task for other reasons as to why they need to protect "their name" outside of trademark issues. http://bloggerillustrated.net/monster-energy-drink-and-hansen-have-forgotten-america/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Goginoo, 18 Jan 2010 @ 3:29am

    I don't like this energy drink at all!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    nonthawat, 23 Jan 2010 @ 1:58am

    Thai Food & Thai Beverage

    Thank you very much. The information was very nice and the service was excellent.
    Thailand has a great variety of drinks and beverages.  If you’d like to learn more about them, try visiting the website, www.thai-food.in.th.  It is only just beginning but I think you will eventually find it to be a great resource.  It also explores a variety of Thai food facts in general.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.