December 10, 2019
Monster Energy Co., a subsidiary of Monster Beverage Corp (collectively, “Monster”) had been attempting to prevent small drink manufacturer “Thunder Beast” from using that name when the case was settled in early November 2019.
Monster claimed that “Thunder Beast” was too similar to Monster’s slogan “Unleash the beast”. In retaliation, Thunder Beast adopted the slogan “Fight monsters” and sought to actively defend Monster’s claims.
First, Monster petitioned the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) to cancel Thunder Beast’s trademark registration. Then, in 2018, before the USPTO was expected to rule on Monster’s petition, Monster withdrew its petition and instead filed a lawsuit against Thunder Beast alleging fraudulent and malicious conduct. The new lawsuit asserted that “Fight monsters” is also trademark infringement.
This is not Monster’s first assertion of its intellectual property rights. It has initiated over 1,000 trademark cases that have gone to court or been reviewed by the USPTO. Recently, it went after the NBA’s Toronto Raptors’ clawed basketball logo; Disney’s 2013 film “Monsters University”; MonsterFishKeepers, a fish hobbyist group; and Beastman tea.
Authors: Sarah Stothart and Jon Wall