28 March 2018Trademarks

Monster Energy targets moving company in TM lawsuit

Energy drinks maker Monster Energy has filed a lawsuit against a California-based moving company for trademark and trade dress infringement.

Monster, which introduced its Monster Energy drink to the market in 2002, filed its complaint at the US District Court for the Central District of California on Monday, March 26.

California-based Monster Moving is allegedly selling services which use Monster’s trademarks and a trade dress which is “confusingly similar” to Monster’s own “distinct” style.

According to Monster’s claim, the moving company has “attempted to falsely associate itself” with the energy drink brand, using Monster’s marks on its trucks, employee uniforms, and web and social media pages.

Monster has been using the ‘Monster Energy’ (US trademark number 4,721,433) mark and the figurative ‘M’ claw mark (US trademark number 4,051,650) since launching the brand in 2002.

The ‘Monster Energy’ mark covers goods and services related to sports and music events including promotional materials, and the ‘M’ claw mark covers a range of goods, including sportswear, jewellery, nutritional supplements, and juices, as well as the flagship energy drinks.

Monster Moving has “wilfully violated” at least the 34 marks listed in the complaint, the energy drink brand said.

Monster also uses a “distinct” trade dress for packaging and promotional materials. The design includes a stylised font for the ‘Monster’ mark on a dark background, a bright green contrasting accent colour, and an “overall aggressive, edgy theme”, according to the complaint.

The claim said that Monster Moving previously operated under the name ‘Best Moving Service’ and used a red and white colour scheme to mark its trucks, but has now rebranded and started to use green and black colours in combination with a ‘Monster Moving’ mark.

In addition, the moving company has been using a similar stylised font as Monster, which includes the use of an ‘M’ claw mark

Monster has spent $4.6 billion in the marketing and promotion of its marks and trade dress, including $537 million in 2017 alone.

In June 2017, the energy drinks brand sent the first of several cease-and-desist letters to Monster Moving.

The infringing conduct has reportedly already resulted in customer confusion, with one individual asking a Monster employee whether the moving company was associated with the energy drinks brand.

Monster wants the moving company to be enjoined from using its marks and trade dress. It has also requested triple damages and profits, and that Monster Moving destroys all materials featuring the infringing marks or design.

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1 February 2017   US-based energy drink manufacturer Monster Energy has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against two businesses based in the country.
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