Monster Energy is a well known brand of energy drink aimed at the male demographic. The parent company Monster Beverage Corporation manufactures energy drinks, natural soft drinks, and fruit drinks including Monster Energy, Hansen’s Natural Soda, Hansen’s Energy, Hansen’s Junior Juice, Peace Tea, and Blue Sky. The company has robust sales with over 1,900 employees and currently holds over 2,500 trademarks. They own marks such as MONSTER™, MONSTER ENERGY®, and MONSTER “Claw M®” marks. Apparently, Monster Energy feels threatened by a small fish forum and is sending out cease and desist letters. What for you ask?
The letters are being sent out in response to Monster claiming that Monster Fish Keepers, a small forum centered on large and unusual fish is infringing on their trademarks. The forum is popular among this “monster” niche crowd and has grown quite a following. Users of the site post pictures, descriptions and the like to other community members encouraging feedback and advice on how to raise these “monster” fishes.
Monster Energy drinks become popular when the company introduced a large style can, something that was not done before in the world of energy drinks. The largest market share belonged to Red Bull at the time, made popular with their “Red Bull gives you Wings” marketing campaign along with a smaller sized can, that could not be confused with other drinks on the market.
Monster Energy has several trademarks, most around beverages for goods and services including “Non-alcoholic beverages, namely, energy drinks, excluding perishable beverage products that contain fruit juice or soy.” However, they do have trademarks that protect goods and services including “Stickers; sticker kits comprising stickers and decals; decals “ and “All purpose sport bags; All-purpose carrying bags; Backpacks; Duffle bags”.
What Monster doesn’t like is the use of the “scary” looking logo that Monster Fish Keepers is using on their site. The logo, which does not look anything like Monster’s, is apparently “causing confusion” according to Monster’s lawyers. And to be fair the logo, including the “scary” M, is a registered trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark office.
In fact, “Monster Energy sent a series of demands including, but not limited to, abandoning the trademark applications for the Monster Fish Keepers “M” symbol marks as well as ceasing to use those marks in connection with apparel & accessories, refraining from using or applying for any marks containing the word “Monster” or the letter “M,” refraining from using the colors black & green on any MonsterFishKeepers.com or Monster Aquaria Network Websites or in connection with apparel & accessories, and pay Monster Energy Corporation its attorneys’ fees in connection with this matter.”
Granted, Monster Fish Keepers has no intention of doing anything that the Lawyers for Monster Energy demand, however it might not be as simple as that. While we mentioned earlier that Monster Energy has over 2,500 trademarks this is not the first instance in which it is using its large resources to bully companies.
The Consumerist, a large blog protecting the consumer has covered just about every instance in which Monster Energy has gone after companies. The Consumerist says that Monster Energy is known in the industry as a “trademark bully” which can be likened to a patent troll and all around a nasty company. Regardless if you’re into monster fish or their counterparts this is just another good reason to stop drinking Monster Energy.