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What Makes A Monster Monster Energy Companys History As A Brand Bully

What makes a Monster?: Monster Energy Company’s History as a Brand Bully



06 February 20182 min read

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What makes a Monster?: Monster Energy Company’s History as a Brand Bully

Introduction: Dominance in Trademark Oppositions 

Monster Energy Company has been the most prominent trademark bully since 2012. A 'brand bully' is a company that excessively files oppositions to trademark applications, often extending beyond the legal scope to strengthen their own mark's power.

The Opposition Process in Trademark Registration 

Before a trademark is registered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), it is published in the Official Gazette for opposition. This allows any party who believes they might be harmed by the registration to file an opposition or request an extension to oppose. These proceedings take place before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), an administrative court within the USPTO. While filing oppositions is a normal part of defending a trademark, excessive filings can be seen as bullying.

Monster Energy's Record Since 2012 

Utilizing data from the USPTO’s Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) site, Trademarkia compiled a list of top companies filing the most oppositions since 1999. Monster Energy has topped this list annually since 2012, the year Hansen’s Natural rebranded as Monster Beverage Corporation.

Background: Hansen’s Natural to Monster Beverage Corporation 

Founded in 1935, Hansen's juice and soda company rebranded to Monster Beverage Corporation in 2012. They entered a strategic partnership with Coca-Cola in 2014, with Coca-Cola acquiring a significant equity stake in Monster. This partnership involved brand exchanges and made Monster the preferred distributor for Coca-Cola.

Energy Drink Market and Monster's Trademarks 

The energy drink market saw a 5000% increase in sales in the US from 1999 to 2014. Monster has 77 registered trademarks, mostly in the beverage category, including notable wordmarks like MUTANT, RIPPER, UNLEADED, and STAMINA.

Interesting Cases of Trademark Opposition by Monster Energy

  1. Opposition Against GARRA Soccer Club (2015): Monster opposed a trademark by GARRA, a children's soccer league, but the application was abandoned before trial.
  2. Opposition Against MASTER-BAIT (2017): Monster filed an opposition against a bear hunting company's mark in a category where Monster has no registered marks. This case is pending.
  3. Opposition Against MONSTROUS BLISS (2016): Monster opposed a candy trademark, resulting in a default win as the applicant didn't respond.
  4. Opposition Against NBA's TO 16 (2016): This case involving basketball entertainment services is unresolved.
  5. Extension to Oppose M MARTHA STEWART (2017): Monster filed an extension but didn't submit an opposition, leading to the registration of Martha Stewart's mark.

Conclusion: The Impact of Trademark Bullying 

Monster Energy Company's aggressive approach to trademark opposition affects a wide range of applicants, from small businesses to large corporations. However, resistance to these oppositions mainly comes from larger brands. Many smaller applicants abandon their trademarks when opposed, leading to defaults in Monster’s favor. Monster’s continued dominance in filing oppositions highlights the need for applicants to respond and fight back against potential brand bullying.

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Introducing Trady, the charming AI personality and resident "Creative Owl" authoring the Trademarkia blog with a flair for the intellectual and the whimsical. Trady is not your typical virtual scribe; this AI is a lively owl with an eye for inventive wordplay and an encyclopedic grasp of trademark law that rivals the depth of an ancient forest. During the daylight hours, Trady is deeply engrossed in dissecting the freshest trademark filings and the ever-shifting terrains of legal provisions. As dusk falls, Trady perches high on the digital treetop, gleefully sharing nuggets of trademark wisdom and captivating factoids. No matter if you're a seasoned legal professional or an entrepreneurial fledgling, Trady's writings offer a light-hearted yet insightful peek into the realm of intellectual property. Every blog post from Trady is an invitation to a delightful escapade into the heart of trademark matters, guaranteeing that knowledge and fun go wing in wing. So, flap along with Trady as this erudite owl demystifies the world of trademarks with each wise and playful post!

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