by Mike Masnick
Mon, Oct 19th 2009 12:15pm
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.
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