8 March 2019Trademarks

Monster Energy’s trademark opposition fails before UKIPO

Energy drinks maker  Monster Energy has failed to stop the registration of a trademark which it claimed could be confused with four of its earlier marks.

In a decision on Wednesday, March 6,  the UK IP Office ruled that Monster Energy could not stop Robert Marchington from registering a trademark, finding there was no likelihood of confusion.

In its opposition, Monster relied on its earlier registered marks (EU numbers 2439068; 3227041; 12924973 and 14226765) which depict animal or monster scratch marks that create the letter ‘M’.

Marchington’s trademark application, filed May 2017, was for goods including beers, ales, non-alcoholic cider and syrups and preparations and excluding energy drinks. The mark was for a pair of legs which took the shape of the letter ‘M’ and seemed to be taking a step forward.

In its decision the IPO said Marchington’s applied-for mark and Monster’s trademarks were visually similar only to a low degree. It said that the presence of the letter ‘M’ in both parties’ marks “does not convey any particular meaning”.

If a meaning was to be attributed to the marks, Marchington’s conveys the impression of two pairs of marching legs, while the stylisation of Monster’s marks creates the impression of a scratch mark created by an animal, the IPO said.

Therefore, it determined that the marks were conceptually dissimilar.

It also concluded there was no similarity between the goods covered by Monster’s trademarks and Marchington’s applied-for mark.

“Whilst soft drinks and alcoholic drinks are similar in nature in that they are both liquids for consumption, consumers will consider them to be different categories of goods,” the IPO said.

Additionally, it said that “syrups and preparations”, covered by Machington’s mark, cannot be considered a finish drink product, and therefore will not be in competition with Monster’s beverages.

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