Monster Cable Sues Monster MiniGolf For Trademark Infringement

Monster Cable has decided to sue Monster MiniGolf for trademark infringement. Monster MiniGolf is a family startup by Patrick & Christina Vitagliano glow-in-the-dark monster-themed minigolf franchise with 23 locations. Monster Cable, which has an illustrious history of suing anything and everything with Monster in its name, makes the expensive cables that Best Buy is always trying to upsell you on that are no better than coat hangers.

When you sue over trademark infringement, one of the biggest criterion for the validity of your suit is whether or not consumers will be confused about which brand is which. To help us decide, let’s look at one item from the Monster MiniGolf FAQ:

Q: Does the entire place glow in the Dark?
A: Yes! (Except the bathrooms..that would be too weird.)

See? You totally thought we were talking about premium-priced audio cables there.

Monster MiniGolf is asking for $1 donations to help offset its legal costs, which so far are $100,000 and they predict will reach $250,000. If you make a donation and take your receipt to a Monster MiniGolf place, you will get $2 off one round, which are normally between $5.50 and $7.50 for 18 holes. You can donate through the eBay page they have set up, which explains more about their situation.

Help Me Fight a Bully! It’s a Monster. Justice needed! [eBay] (Thanks to Johnny!)

Comments

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  1. MissPeacock says:

    Nice. We haven’t had a Monster Cable story in what feels like ages.

    • ViperBorg says:

      @MissPeacock: And it’s still too soon.

    • Anonymous says:

      A letter found at the end of a pitchfork:

      Dr. Victor Frankenstein
      Brandmayergasse 7-9, A-1050
      Vienna, Austria
      December 5

      Dear Dr. Frankenstein,

      As legal counsel for Monster Cable Products, I submit to you a matter that requires your immediate attention.
      We are the owners of the trademark “Monster” and all its derivatives. Your nocturnal harvesting of previously interred corpses, and compilation of a hideous humanoid creature, and the consequent escape of said creature to be greeted by terrified cries of ‘Monster!” have violated the Federal Trademark Act as well as several ethical principles of western culture. By terrorizing small Bavarian towns and arbitrarily lobbing unsuspecting lasses into the lake this so-called “Monster” has undermined our ability to sell high-priced audio equipment to unwary consumers
      We ask that you immediately cease the animation of dead tissues that you stitched together in your laboratory, including the fashioning of a companion for the lonely brute you previously assembled.
      Your failure to dismantle your production apparatus and destroy the abomination you have awakened will result in the prompt initiation of legal proceedings against you as well as the formation of an angry mob that shall descend upon your premises bearing stereotypical torches and pitchforks.
      Finally, we advise you to never again presume to be God. We hold the copyright on that as well.
      B. D. Sleazey
      Lead Council

  2. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    WTF. I hate companies like this.

    If they were in the same industry, I’d see the legality of their claim, but as it is, this is ridiculous!

  3. m4ximusprim3 says:

    They should see if monster energy drink will kick down some legal assistance. They’re big enough they probably have some lawyers on retainer and you know they’re next if the mini golf people go down.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @m4ximusprim3: Apparently, they’ve already been sued. Don’t know how it turned out though. Read the description on the ebay page, it lists a bunch of the people this guy is trying to extort.

    • blackmage439 says:

      @m4ximusprim3: I’m still waiting for these douchebags to gather the balls to sue http://www.monster.com.

      I’m glad the minigolf owners aren’t taking this lying down. If more people start actually fighting these ridiculous lawsuits that lowlife companies like Monster and Starbucks, aka “we own the rights to ‘cappuccino'”, throw around, we would all be much better off.

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        @blackmage439: They have done them too, supposedly. I’m sure they lost.

      • xwildebeestx says:

        @blackmage439: They already did. Go all the way to the bottom of monster.com.

      • britne says:

        @blackmage439: they did, and won. scroll to the bottom of monster.com:

        ©2008 Monster – All Rights Reserved – U.S. Patent No. 5,832,497 – NYSE:MWW Looking for Monster Cable?

        • SudhamayiKabong says:

          @britne: They didn’t win, Monster.com settled, which while being functionally similar to a win, isn’t actually the same thing at all. It’s likely that Monster.com didn’t want to spend the money in law fees to defend themselvs in court, which by all accounts is exactly what Monster is counting on. That way they can get some licensing fees out of Monster.com, and…whatever. Monster sucks.

  4. morganlh85 says:

    They have GOT to be kidding me…this is a BIG stretch.

  5. patrickhowell says:

    Logo looks way more like Monster Energy Drink than Monster Cables…

  6. morganlh85 says:

    Yeah, when I was at Monster Mini-Golf, I seriously wondered, is this the same Monster as the Monster electronics television cables? It’s GOTTA be the same people.

    And when I hear the song “Monster Mash” I think, “Hmm, does the Monster Mash have something to do with Monster Cables?”

    For reals?

  7. nataku8_e30 says:

    Why hasn’t monster cable gone under yet?

  8. HarleyBabb says:

    This seems like something that should have gotten knocked out even before discovery.

    Monster MiniGolf should counterclaim for abuse of process, malicious prosecution and attorneys fees.

    *this does not constitute legal advice*

    • varro says:

      @HarleyBabb: Have Monster Cables branded a “vexatious litigant” and be banned from filing any lawsuits regarding trademark infringement.

      • amuro98 says:

        @varro:
        Yeah, why is Monster Cable even allowed to file anything anymore? And shouldn’t this be an open and shut case as there’s tons of cases that Monster Cable has LOST over the years…

        Last I heard, they tried suing Pixar because of Monsters Inc. and before that, they tried suing some local dry cleaner or something because they were called “Monster Cleaning”

        The putt-putt place should countersue Monster Cable for wasting everyone’s time, and then use the proceeds to start a defense fund against all future idiotic lawsuits Monster Cable decides to file.

        We should start a campaign to get all companies to put “Monster” in front of their name a for a month. So it’s not just Dunkin’ Donuts, now it’s “Monster Dunkin’ Donuts” McDonalds becomes Monster McDonalds, and so on.

    • jimv2000 says:

      @HarleyBabb:

      I always find it funny that people give legal advice and then claim it wasn’t legal advice.

      “Monster MiniGolf *SHOULD*…”

      That’s advice.

      • coren says:

        @jimv2000: He didn’t say it wasn’t advice, he said it wasn’t *legal* advice – not his legal opinion on the matter. There can be a difference.

  9. Wit says:

    I wonder if this is a case where the mini golf company’s lawyers could ask for their fees or possibly sanctions? On its face, this suite seems like it’s frivolous and an abuse of the courts…

    A snarky part of me suggests that maybe, if they were going to be so protective about their name, they shouldn’t have picked a word that was eight hundred years old and quite commonplace.

  10. LiquidGravity says:

    I think Monster Cables is run by lawyers. Greedy bastards.

  11. KyleOrton says:

    I propose a new policy for all Consumerist readers (though I’m sure a few follow it in spirit already):

    Every time you hear the word “monster,” tell 5 people about monoprice.com (or similar store, though they’re my favorite).

    • EyeHeartPie says:

      @KyleOrton: I saw some guy buying a PS3 at Best Buy the other day, and I heard the employee he was with telling him he needed Monster brand cables to get the most out of his PS3 on an HDTV.

      After the employee left and the guy started walking towards checkout, I stopped him and told him that instead of spending that $85 on that cable, go online to monoprice.com and buy the same cable for $4 plus shipping. He was very attentive, taking note of the site and even pulling it up on his iPhone to take a quick look right there in the store.

    • unobservant says:

      @KyleOrton: New policy? It just gives me another reason to boycott them.

      Unfortunately, all of these well-meaning boycott messages will fall on deaf ears when the monsters-that-be discover that we’re too smart to have considered buying their cables in the first place.

    • dweebster says:

      @KyleOrton: After MC runs out of “Monster” -named companies to sue, kills off Cookie Monster and Frankenstein’s monster,they will continue on with suing derivatives of the name.

      *MON*oprice is their name AND they sell cables? They’re fucked.

  12. BrianDaBrain says:

    WTF?! I guess Monster needs some way to make money since smart consumers really don’t buy their products…

  13. ForrestWhitakersLazyEye says:

    It’s amazing to me that this company continues to do this. With such a horrible reputation already, they really should be doing all they can to make people LIKE them, not continue to screw everyone around them.

    • dweebster says:

      @ForrestWhitakersLazyEye: Judging from the reports of ridiculous lawsuits, they aren’t selling enough cables to break even honestly. Thus, the generically-named cable business is apparently just a ruse to base frivolous lawsuits upon. This stuff makes pyramid MLM businesses seem downright legit!

      Maybe I’ll create a pet bed company called “Animal Beds” and sue the hell out of anyone using the name “animal” in their business name. That’s right, Animal Crackers and Animal Hospitals and writer of Animal Farm – I’m coming for YOU!!!

  14. bravo369 says:

    i know lawyers are expensive but isn’t this something that they can basically represent themselves and win?

    • highpitch_83 says:

      @bravo369: no kidding… how could a judge let this last on a docket for more than 30 seconds anyway?! It’s clearly without and basis other than to be d***s

      • valthun says:

        @highpitch_83: unfortunately there is basis since Monster continues to make these claims and win, or settle in their favor, without releasing the details.

        Prime examples of under the table deals:
        Disney – Monsters Inc. (no details but there were movie posters with the cables)
        Monster.com (no details but there is a link to monster cables)
        Boston Red Sox – Green Monster Seats (monster cable gets a percentage of the sales)
        Monster Energy Drink – (no details, unsure what the settlement was)

    • twophrasebark says:

      @bravo369:

      Probably. But most laypeople have been conditioned to believe that if you try to respond to even the most frivolous lost suit then [insert horror story here].

      Meanwhile, I helped a friend file his own bankruptcy and the court trustee said his filing was better than the ones from the lawyers.

      • Wit says:

        @twophrasebark: Meanwhile, I helped a friend file his own bankruptcy and the court trustee said his filing was better than the ones from the lawyers.

        Really? Congratulations, then. I’m an attorney for a trustee and most pro se bankruptcy petitions I’ve seen are unimaginable nightmares which cause no end of trouble for everyone involved, mostly due to the under-reporting of assets and income or the failure to claim exemptions.

        • erratapage says:

          @Wit: For the record, I’ve seen thousands of pro se petitions in civil and family court over my career. The vast majority are horrible. A very few are extremely well done. I note that the better ones are done by professionals who had some kind of template to work with.

    • dewsipper says:

      @bravo369: IANAL, but I had to hire a lawyer to defend an idiodic lawsuit because my company was an LLC. Since I wasn’t a lawyer, I couldn’t represent the stockholders =(

    • angryhippo says:

      @bravo369: There is only brand confusion if their parks charge 500% more than other golf parks with no value add.

  15. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    Get rich quick plan… incorporate… create products called a e i o u and y… trademark the names… sue everyone who uses my trademarked names in their names… watch the money come in…

  16. JuantheGardener says:

    I take it they sued monster.com already also, anybody know? Or wait, isn’t the same company? You can look for a job while shopping for cables?

    • casianoa says:

      @JuantheGardener:

      Oh yes, they tried to sue Monster.com. Also, they tried to sue:

      *Monsters, Inc. (Yes, the children’s movie)

      *Monster Energy Drink

      *The Chicago Bears (Their nickname is the Monsters of the Midway)

      *Fenway Park’s Monster seats

      *Blue Jeans Cable

      Blue Jeans Cable is the best lawsuit. Monster Cables picked on the wrong business. The owner was an attorney specializing in corporate litigation.

      [www.bluejeanscable.com]

  17. unobservant says:

    The only way I can tell these two companies apart is by the price.

  18. FunkmasterC says:

    While I agree that this lawsuit (as well as just about all of their suits) is a bit ludicrous, companies need to emphasize trademark protection (see trademark dilution). Trademarks like Rollerblade are often protected and the company discourages its use in referring to inline skates as they run the risk of losing the trademark if the term enters into common usage. That being said, Monster seems to be going nuts with this concept.

  19. Ash78 ain't got time to bleed says:

    It can’t be that expensive to defend this case. To wit:

    “Your honor, I’d like to begin my opening statement with ‘seriously?’ I rest my case.”

  20. ModernTenshi04 says:

    Is it even possible for them to sue these people? I didn’t think you could sue someone for using a word found in the English dictionary, in this case it would be Monster. Logo yeah, but I don’t see anything like that between the two companies.

    Isn’t this sort of thing why Compaq spelled their name with a ‘q’ so they could trademark and/or copyright it?

    • billy says:

      @ModernTenshi04: Anyone can sue anyone else (assuming they fill out all the forms, pay all the right fees, etc.) Whether they are successful or not is a different story.

      You can definitely sue someone using your tradename/mark even if it’s found in the dictionary or common. The whole thing comes down to confusion in the marketplace. One way the courts look at this is through the lens of “trademark distinctiveness” [en.wikipedia.org]

      A mark like “Monster” for cables is probably an “arbitrary” mark, meaning that “monster” has no apparent connection to cables. A mark like “Kodak” for cameras is fanciful: it’s a made up word by and for the company and product.

      Both types of marks can be valid. Obviously, if a new company named Kodak comes into the marketplace trying to sell cameras, it’s pretty easy to say that they would be violating trademark because of the consumer confusion. It would be easy for Kodak to demonstrate that they were there first with the name, too. In the same vein, if a new cable company starts selling “Monster” cables, there would probably be consumer confusion because of the prior user of the mark, Monster Cables.

      For Compaq, obviously a new company shouldn’t use “Compaq” in their name: it would be a direct rip off of a distinctive spelling. But if somebody made a new mark “Compact Computers” then it seems like a closer call. Compact could argue that they are, in fact, compact while Compaq seems more like a fanciful name or spelling. That’s why I’ve always thought that when you make up a distinct spelling of a word for trademark purposes, you run the risk of getting a lot of like-sounded competitors coming. Another example: Holsum bread. What’s to stop Wholesome Bread from coming on to the market?

      In this case,though, Monster is really stretching. When a trademark is registered, you get the mark only for a particular industry or product. For example: United Airlines and United Van Lines are different industries. There is no consumer confusion there.

      HOWEVER, there is the concept of trademark dilution which states that you must take action against those who might be infringing on your mark. If you don’t defend your mark, you may lose it, according to the courts. In this case, though, because of the two very distinct industries that the two companies are working in and the very low risk of consumer confusion, it seems like Monster Cable is really grasping here.

      [en.wikipedia.org]

  21. twophrasebark says:

    I would like to testify for Monster Cable.

    There have been many times I have gone to Monster MiniGolf to buy cables for my electronics. And Monster MiniGolf doesn’t even have any.

    Time and time again, I go to Monster MiniGolf to buy cables. And they simply refuse to stock them.

    Please have the attorney for Monster Cable contact me. I want to sue these MiniGolf people for creating such a confusing situation.

    • dweebster says:

      @twophrasebark: Oh, and you know what – they don’t show that Monsters, Inc. movie, nor do they sell that Monster drink. Totally disappointing.

      But when you visit them you can take a monster piss and not tell them. Then again, maybe the Monster Cable Monsters have pee-cams installed – and it’s to court for you…

    • RichasB says:

      @twophrasebark: LMAO!

  22. minsky says:

    I can’t understand how a lawsuit like this could continue…there’s no relation between speaker cable and miniature golf! This is just friggin’ crazy and Monster Cable should just go rot in hell with their overpriced crap and stop wasting innocent companies money and time.

  23. Corporate_guy says:

    Pay monster in free minigolf.

  24. mbd says:

    The should trademark “Cable” and sue Monster Cable for trademark infringement.

    This is our congress’s fault for allowing the trademarking of common words.

    • outphase says:

      @mbd: In all fairness, the word “monster” is arbitrary to cables. It is acceptable, but the company certainly does not have rights to all use of the word.

      If the people running Monster Cable had Apple Computers instead, they would sue grocery stores for selling apples.

  25. twophrasebark says:

    Did they sue Monsters, Inc. as well?

    [cablemodem.fibertel.com.ar]

  26. Coyote says:

    They should really get in contact with Blue Jeans Cable. Their CEO has already called Monster Cable out and would probably relish the chance.
    See below:
    [www.audioholics.com]

    • oyvader says:

      @Coyote:

      I remember that story. I wonder what came of it.

    • dweebster says:

      @Coyote: It seems the thing to do would be for these victims and potential victims of Monster’s frivolous shakedowns could just band together and retain a cutthroat legal firm to deal with their crap. A good attorney could probably do a little aikido and end up taking Monster Cable away from their owners eventually. I had heard Scientology managed to screw with the Cult Awareness Network and some other places and ended up owning them. Could happen to the Monster Mobsters….

  27. Anonymous says:

    The problem is that it’s cheaper to just settle the completely ridiculous lawsuits than to fight them. However, if someone actually lets this go to court, Monster Cable will lose. Not only that, I believe if the people taking it to court are smart enough (i.e., show the judge the previous completely retarded lawsuits), they could go the full nine and get the trademark revoked on grounds of abuse. That would make my day.

  28. gnubian says:

    Maybe they’re just worried that someone’s gonna discover that you get better speaker performance when you use putters as your interconnects .. HEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE

  29. mbd says:

    Apple Records sued Apple Computer twice over the years for trademark infringement. The first time they settled out of court with an agreement that Apple Computers would stay out of the music business. When Apple introduced the iPod, Apple Records (still owned by the Beatles and their heirs) sued again and lost.

  30. dasunst3r says:

    My Dad recently got a new TV (with HDMI goodness), and I have been untraining him off Monster Cables. Every time he asks me whether they’re any good, I tell him that he could get something that works fine for 1/5 the price. THAT is music to his ears.

    • RedwoodFlyer says:

      @dasunst3r: If it wasn’t a family member, what you do is buy some cheap ones at monoprice or anywhere else, spend $20 on a DYMO labeling machine, and DIY some “Monster” cables…tell them you got 10% off on eBay, and resell it to them for a huge markup = you win!

  31. Darascon says:

    Man, everytime I see this kind of shit it reminds me of Jack Thompson… that PoS. Suing everyone cause the “games made me do it” Burn in hell.

  32. tmlfan81 says:

    Why does this whole deal with Monster remind me of Idiocracy and the whole Brawndo thing?

    Oh right, because its essentially the same.

    Monster Cable, Inc – it’s got what plants crave!!!

  33. TechnoDestructo says:

    If it isn’t possible to completely bar a company from filing lawsuits of any kind in any court in the country, Monster Cable has shown that it should be.

  34. Smashville says:

    I tried to plug my TV in using the Green Monster…it didn’t work…

  35. Anonymous says:

    Monster Cable needs to grow up. why sue a little mom and pop minsture golf park. if they are going to sue them why not sue Monster drinks, disney for the Monsters inc movie, or how about monster.com, or the movie monster, or monster trucks, or for that matter any book named monster. or anyone that has the name Monster in there name. i hope it gets thrown out. i will tell you one thing becasue Monster Cables is doing this they just lost a customer and i know alot of people in the audio industry for both automotive and home installs and i’m gonna let them know not to use monster cables any more. maybe if monster stops being stupid i might purchas there products but for now no more Monster cables.

  36. Mr. Guy says:

    i was just about to say what Coyote did. Get Kurt Denke of Blue Jeans Cable on the line STAT and have him draft a letter to Monster Cable. He seems to be the Raid to their army of roaches.

    I also think that Monster mini golf will win their case (if they have halfway decent representation), recoup their court costs, and the judge may issue some sort of punitive ruling against Monster for frivolous litigation.

    • dweebster says:

      @Mr. Guy: Hopefully give them the fucking company. THEN Monster Cable will have a point that people “could” be confused about the two companies because they would then be owned by the same dudes.

    • Ninjastorm66 says:

      @Mr. Guy: Now, if Monster Mini-Golf wins and recovers court costs, do they pocket it, or give it back out to everyone who donated to help them out of their bind?

      I want to hear an answer to this before I donate, not cuz I’m cheap and want my dollar or five back, but more as an issue of character.

  37. mike says:

    Someone should create a company named Cable Cars, Inc and sue Monster for trademark infrindgement.

    Takers?

  38. mike says:

    Is there a PDF of Monster’s suit? I did a preliminary google search and found nothing.

    I know Monster sues companies that even have the word monster in their name. But I’d really like to see a copy of the suit before I donate.

  39. barty says:

    Yet another example of why we sorely need a loser pays system in this country.

    But we just keep electing more lawyers into office, who are obviously not going to do anything that will harm their profession, so we, the consumers, get to take it where the sun doesn’t shine to pay for these frivolous lawsuits.

  40. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    They sued another cable company with a dissimilar name for product infringement… you’ve got to read this article.

    FTA: “I assume that Monster Cable International, Ltd., in Bermuda, listed on these patents, is an IP holding company and that Monster Cable’s principal US entity pays licensing fees to the Bermuda corporation in order to shift income out of the United States and thereby avoid paying United States federal income tax on those portions of its income;“.

    This guy was born to be a lawyer.

    [www.audioholics.com]

  41. jdmba says:

    As I have said every time a monster post like this shows up, this is the normal business cycle for a dying company. If you cannot innovate, you litigate.

    While the stories originally started on the fringe (“is a monster cable better than a wire hanger”), now mainstream media carries the stories that digital-is-digital, and that a $300 digital cable is no better than a $3.00 one. I doubt monster is ready to cut their prices, so they have to do something!

  42. JohnDeere says:

    what this doesnt make sense. you cant putt with a coathanger.

  43. DH405 says:

    There’s gotta be a big countersuit in this somewhere.

    Monster Cable is abusive of the law almost as much as they are of consumers.

  44. redhelix says:

    It’s so classy how Monster is on an ANYTHING-infringement spree when they have a random link to Kazaa literally right on the front page of their website under ‘music downloads.’ There’s no reason for that link to even be there!

    Nominating monster for worst company in ’09

  45. asauterChicago says:

    Guys I made a digg submission for this, please digg if you get the chance and help get the word out:

    [digg.com]

  46. RagingBoehner says:

    My favorite from the Monster Cables FAQ:

    Q. Why use gold plated connectors?

    A. We use gold because it doesn’t corrode and looks excellent.

  47. Marshfield says:

    Can we please get the Executive email addrs for Monster cable and all do an EECB to tell them to “cut it the heck out”

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @Marshfield: More properly tell them that bullying their so called “infringers” into selling the rights to their name and then licencing it back to them is more commonly known as extortion or blackmail, both of which are illegal.

      Then go on to say until your corporation sees fit to cease these illegal and unethical practices I will not purchase your products, and I will ensure that no one I know purchases your products without being first informed of the way your company conducts their business.

      Have a good day.

  48. The_IT_Crone says:

    I really can’t understand HOW they were able to get the trademark for the “monster” word. I thought you weren’t able to do that for regularly-used words. :(

  49. nobodyman says:

    Perhaps they should get the lawyer from Blue Jeans Cable to represent them.

    In that case, Monster sent a cease-and-desist to Blue Jeans Cable claiming patent infringement (because they sold cables, and Monster sells cables, get it?). Unfortunately they didn’t realize they were dealing with a CEO who was a lawyer with almost 20 years of experience. Monster quickly backed down when he threatened them back.

  50. jjeefff says:

    I heard a rumor that the Cookie Monster is retaining legal counsel.

  51. SpruceStreetPhil - in a new Pine flavor says:

    I think the better thing to do is write Monster Cables execs and tell them that you will not be buying any of their products any more over this frivolous case, and that you will be recommending to your friends and family not to either until they learn corporate ethics.

    • elangomatt says:

      @SpruceStreetPhil: See though, I wouldn’t want to do that because that implies that I have actually bought a monster cable or recommended my friends/family buy them.

      Monoprice.com all the way, and two of my co-workers have been converted by me too!

  52. downwithmonstercable says:

    read what my username says! yes!!!

  53. Marshfield says:

    I sent and email to dgraham@monstercable.com
    This is one of the silliest things I’ve heard in a while. Little mini-golf is not hurting you. Leave them alone.

    In the meantime I am going to stop buying Monster cable products and recommend to all my friends and net associates to do the same until I hear that the suit has been dropped.

    Big Bully Monster cables!!

    – end email –

    I recommend we all get going on this. It’s almost worse than bees is the RV and we can have an impact

  54. SpruceStreetPhil - in a new Pine flavor says:

    who is dgraham? I may forward this one I sent to customer service:

    To Noel Lee,

    I would just like to write to you alerting you of how horrified I am at your corporation’s ethics. I am an avid reader of the Consumerist blog and came across this posting today: [consumerist.com] As of now I am never buying any of your products again, as well as alerting my friends and family to not purchase from such a hasty and greedy company. If anything that business school has taught me is that you are the epitome of what not to do. Everyone on Consumerist is up in arms over this lawsuit. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    Admonishingly,
    Another lost customer

  55. Saboth says:

    I just got a new tv, blu ray player, and I am hooking up a new stereo system. Every time I searched for speaker wires, HDMI cables and anything in-between, I got Monster in my search results. I said “F those bastards” and went with someone else every time.

  56. Geblah187 says:

    Reason seems to suggest that they are winning at least a few of these lawsuits, or they wouldn’t keep at them.

    You, me, and anyone else with a brain knows it’s total abuse of the system – but how many small businesses out there have caved under the pressure and come to some sort of settlement with monster? They’re “keeping the monster alive,” so to speak, just as much as people who buy their products.

    The whole thing just disgusts me.

  57. DarkKnightShyamalan says:

    The logical next step is for Monster to start suing every coat hanger manufacturer.

  58. uncle moe says:

    didn’t they already sue this monster golf outfit? i guess when the economy is hurtin’, it’s time to sue somebody.

  59. Airjoe says:

    Noah Lee, president: NLee@monstercable.com
    David Tognotti, General Counsel: dtognotti@monstercable.com

  60. bagumpity says:

    So my pie company “Monster Cobbler” is OK, right?

  61. ajlei says:

    I clicked on the page about twenty minutes ago to read more about it, and continued reading the comments on here. When I clicked over to the ebay page and went to sign in, when I got back to the page it said it was an “invalid item”! Did it get pulled?

  62. jpheezy says:

    Yes ebay pulled the auction. I had submitted a bid and they pulled it. You can donate directly on their website at monsterminigolf.com

  63. suburbancowboy says:

    I heard they are going to dig up Bobby “Boris” Pickett, and sue him for singing Monster Mash before their company was founded.

    P.S.- Monster Cables suck. I owned a high end AV store for 4 years, and I wouldn’t touch the stuff with a ten foot pole.

    Where is the fine line between properly defending and protecting your trademark so that you don’t lose it (take aspirin for example), and just being an overly litigious a-hole company?

  64. adamsimon says:

    Dear jokercomiccollector (justadamagain@hotmail.com),

    Thanks for bidding on the Multiple Item Auction listing
    :

    250335844365 – Help Me Fight a Bully! It’s a Monster. Justice needed!

    Unfortunately, we had to remove this Multiple Item Auction listing
    and cancel all bids. We don’t like to remove listings — it’s disappointing for everyone — but sometimes we need to do it.

    There are three main reasons why we remove listings:
    — The listing doesn’t follow eBay guidelines.
    — The item isn’t allowed on eBay or can only be listed under certain conditions.
    — The listing contains pictures or words that may create copyright or trademark issues.

    If the seller is able to fix the problem and relists the item, we hope you’ll bid on it again.

    Sometimes, instead of relisting an item, a seller will suggest that you buy it directly from him or her, off eBay. If that happens, please don’t accept. If anything goes wrong with the purchase, we won’t be able to help you.

    – If you have questions –
    Due to concerns about member privacy, we can’t share any details about why the listing was removed, but we’d be glad to answer any other questions you might have. Here’s the best way to contact us:
    1. Click “Help” at the top of most eBay pages. You may need to sign in.
    2. Click “Contact Us.”
    You’ll be asked to describe what’s going on, and we’ll suggest the best way to get in touch.

    We’re really sorry about the inconvenience.

    Sincerely,

    eBay Trust and Safety team

    Please don’t reply to this message. It was sent from an address that doesn’t accept incoming email.

    H5516

  65. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    eBay has taken the auction down – most likely because Monster claimed “trademark infringement” or something. Who knows, but all those donations they were poised to get are now cancelled.

  66. UnicornMaster says:

    They already tried with Pixar, so watch out Dreamworks…
    [www.monstersvsaliens.com]

  67. SWBLOOPERS says:

    Hmm. I wonder if the publishers of of “Monster World” and “Famous Monsters of Filmland” — both of which predate Monster Cable — might have something to say about this…

  68. Jeremiah1977 says:

    Ebay has ended the auction and canceled all bids. The Monster Golf people would be better off just posting a Paypal address for people to send donations to.

    Why even deal with Ebay and the fees? They’re already going to have to pay Pay Pal (owned by Ebay) fees to get the money that people donate.

  69. Ninjastorm66 says:

    IANAL but, Why doesn’t one of these companies with “Monster” in the
    name sue Monster Cables for the exact same reason? Even if MC wins,
    whatever defense they use could be used as precedent if they sue
    someone again, right?

  70. Lexica says:
    • dweebster says:

      @MarvelaNemean: I bought one – but they didn’t set it up for “Buy It Now” – damn!

      You are the high bidder on all items you bid on
      # You bid on 1 item. You are currently winning 1 item.
      # Another user may still outbid you, so check this item again before it ends.

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        @dweebster: I know right? I don’t know why they’re using a dutch auction. If Ebay takes it down again, they lose all the money when buy it now would give them instant gratification.

  71. DerangedRoleModel says:

    Monster.com should sue Monster Cable.

  72. Anonymous says:

    Can’t we send a EECB type of mass e-mail to Monster Cable to let them know we’ll not be buying their products? Let’s just make sure that we EECB the right business, I keep getting putt-putt confused with overpriced speaker cable.

  73. pmcpa2 says:

    ECC:
    Noel Lee nlee@monstercable.com
    Robert Payne, Esquire rpayne@lgpatlaw.com
    David Tognotti, dtognotti@monstercable.com or legal@monstercable.com

  74. TPS Reporter says:

    Does Monster MiniGolf use Monster cables to putt with?

  75. ludwigk says:

    I just read about this in the IP book that I’m reading (Intellectual Property and Open Source by Van Lindberg), he specifically mentions why Monster.com and Monster Cable both have distinct trademarks, specifically, because they are in different industries.

    Dick move, Monster Cables, dick move…

  76. Anonymous says:

    Patrick Vitagliano here, co-founder of Monster Mini Golf.
    As some of you might have seen, they have taken down our ebay listing for loosely violating ebay’s “No Item” clause. The item has been relisted at the following link….

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250336911645&category=1469&_trksid=p2773.m263&_trkparms=algo%3DSI%26its%3DI%26itu%3DUCI%26otn%3D40%26po%3DLVI%26ps%3D54

    Also, here is the hub site in which we are compiling information and using as sort of a “Home Base” for our little battle.

    http://monsterminigolf.com/bully.html

    I’d like to extend a heartfelt Thank You to all of you have been so supportive. It will take an army to go the distance with these guys, and we greatly appreciate all of your help.

  77. csurugbyhooker says:

    You can contact Monster Cable directly and tell them how confused and disappointed you were when you walked into Monster MiniGolf looking for their overpriced cables and they were nowhere to be found:

    [www.monstercable.com]

    The customer service rep copped quite the attitude with me when I called to air my grievance.

    ps. There’s also an email link for David Toqnotti, General Counsel For Legal or Intellectual Property Matters.

    • eXo says:

      @csurugbyhooker: I sent en email to their site myself.

    • johnnyplaymate says:

      @csurugbyhooker:

      I sent an email myself, and they sent back some kink to a 16 page explanation on why they are bs’ing mmg with this lawsuit. I was not their sheep and i told them about the boycott that’s on right now,

      you can send the info that we refuse to monster cable any longer and that they should find another brand to sell.

      Best Buy Public Relations Department
      Email: [email]NewsCenter@bestbuy.com[/email]
      Phone: 612-292-NEWS (6397)

      Circuit City contact page:

      [url][www.circuitcity.com]]

  78. Anonymous says:

    It’s worth noting that Monster Cable went after the Chicago Bears (the Monsters of the Midway) in an effort to “protect their copyright.”

  79. csurugbyhooker says:

    And the email sent to ‘General Counsel For Legal or Intellectual Property Matters':

    “Good Day-

    I wanted to write you to tell you about a possible trademark infringement taking place. I recently stopped into Monster MiniGolf in Strongsville, OH because I needed HDMI cables. To my surprise, it was a miniature golf course and they told me they didn’t carry Monster Cables! Where am I to buy such cables? In a panic, I used coat hangers to get my audio up and running until I could get my hands on a nice, expensive set of Monster Cables.

    Will your website be selling admission into the miniature golf courses? Will Monster Cables be selling high-priced putters? In the future, I would recommend devoting more resources to informing consumers that Monster Cables cannot be purchased at Monster MiniGolf locations across the United States because the distinction between the two companies is fuzzy at best and many of us consumers often confuse mini-golf courses with authorized sellers of Monster Cables. Thank You.

    Concerned Consumer,
    Cleveland Heights, OH”

  80. DixonDaimon says:

    if anyone should be suing them it should be monster energy drink. its the first thing i think of every time i pass the golf place.

  81. Wubbytoes says:

    Man, that is total bullshit. Monster Cable does not own the word “monster”! Every time they do something like this it makes me despise their stupid, overpriced cables even more.

  82. PresidentBeeblebrox says:

    “This listing (250335844365) has been removed or is no longer available. Please make sure you entered the right item number. If the listing was removed by eBay, consider it canceled. Note: Listings that have ended more than 90 days ago will no longer appear on eBay.”

    Guess the eBay and the Monster colluded to kill the auction…

  83. JulesNoctambule says:

    Even if they made a product worth buying, I wouldn’t give any business to Monster Cable just because they’re ethics-lacking jerks. The mini-golf place, on the other hand, would be a regular destination if I lived close enough.

  84. Anonymous says:

    Hey Monster Cable,

    After reading over the months the various lawsuits you’ve filed against innocent parties who were unfortunate enough to pick the same COMMON USAGE word as your brand of cables, even though there’s obviously no confusion between you & most recently a mini golf course…C’MON!!!

    As someone who appreciates quality audio & video components & usually doesn’t use the freebie cables that usually come in the box, I hereby pledge to NEVER purchase anything from your company, specifically due to your practice of abusing the legal system & harrassing innocent victims.

    Maybe I’ll name my next child Monster, just to see if I get sued…

    …ok, my kid’s gonna get beat up with a name like that…nevermind.

  85. bitgod says:

    I’ll never buy items from this company. Even if there was a logical reason to buy it, maybe it was on sale or wasn’t such a bad price, just won’t do it. Douches.

  86. Anonymous says:

    Why are donations being done through eBay, which gives eBay a cut? At least make it straight through Paypal, which cuts down the overhead a bit. But yes, I just donated.

  87. kyle4 says:

    I remember Consumerist posting this months ago….unless that was another Monster Mini-Golf…or unless Monster is suing everything.

    Here’s a story: Sesame Street sued, Monster Cable is suing them for infringing Cookie Monster.

  88. Anonymous says:

    Monster Cable sues everything and anyone using the word ‘monster’. I heard they once sued Discovery for their show “Monster Garage.”

    F’ing ridiculous. You can’t own words.

  89. hindenpeter83 says:

    More and more of a reason for me to point my co-workers to monoprice.com for all their cabling needs. Less then $20 and I’ve got all the HDMI I need for my home theatre. If I had gone with Monster cable, $20 wouldn’t even buy me a foot of component cable…

  90. synimatik says:

    Did anyone else notice on their website along with Customer Support and Technical Support that there is a link to contact their lawyer about Legal and Intellectual matters?

    If THAT isn’t a sign that they sue anybody for anything, what is?

  91. axiomatic says:

    Sure. Because I usually got to a mini-golf place to buy my overpriced HDMI cables.

    Soooooo f-ing stooooopid.

  92. dry-roasted-peanuts says:

    Oh no, a Monster!

  93. snowburnt says:

    In the one law related class I took I learned that unless you have documentation that fought a perceived trademark infringement as soon as you are made aware of it, future disputes over trademark infringement (that are more valid) will hold the fact that you didn’t fight the other ones against you. So say they didn’t fight this one…it’s conceivable that a company called Monstare’s Cables comes out that sells cables on shelves right next to monster. They could say that since monster didn’t fight against the job search website, the golf course, etc, that they no longer had rights to the trademark.
    Doesn’t mean they’ll win…just that you want to take all the ammunition you can away from your opponents.

  94. CapitalC says:

    They should start putting that on their packaging…

    “Monster: We’ll sue your monster ass.”

  95. Cranky Customer says:

    .
    An entire website devoted to Monster’s scummy tactics:
    [www.monstergreed.com]

    PRICELESS!
    .

  96. FooSchnickens - Full of SCAR says:

    This is completely pants-on-head retarded. There’s a Monster Golf location just up the street from me that I go to all the time with my friends when we’re bored.

    I’ve half a mind to give them my Christmas Bonus Benjamin to further their cause.

  97. Segador says:

    I’m thinking of starting “Monster Prophelactics, Inc.” just to get sued.

  98. Anonymous says:

    The place to make Monster Cable understand the ramifications of all this frivolous legal action is to look up all the places they sell their overpriced & crap products & let Monster Cable’s customers know you object to them selling products from an unethical company: http://www.monstercable.com/where_to_buy/

  99. Anonymous says:

    Just wanted to take a few minutes to personally thank all of you for spending your valuable time posting on this (and others) forum and voicing your opinions on this insane lawsuit Monster Cable has launched on us, Monster Mini Golf.

    We are indeed entrenched in what we believe is “The Good Fight”, but as the battle wears on, you do start to question your sanity, not to mention your finances. It is forums like this, where like-minded people voice their opinions, that actually keep us going, and for that, we thank you. Whenever you are defending against an enemy as deep-pocketed as Monster Cable, it’s always an uphill battle and they are WELL aware of this, in fact, that is their tactic…to run you out of money so you are forced to take a settlement. Thankfully, the internet has made the world just a little bit smaller, and given a bigger voice to the little guy, (in this case, us) and made it possible to reach enough people to actually make a difference.

    So far, what has made the most difference is all of the letters that are being written to MC. As they learn that their actions are causing more and more loyal customers to jump ship, the financial ramifications become harder and harder to ignore.

    I do humbly and gratefully ask all of you to take a minute to send them an email if you haven’t already, telling them how you feel about their tactics, and how that might affect your decision to purchase their products, or not.

    His personal email addys are….
    nlee@monstercable.com
    or
    theheadmonster@monstercable.com

    Also, forward it to a friend. In short, we are making a difference, and we owe it all to you guys, so THANK YOU!

    -Patrick & Christina Vitagliano (Co-Founders of Monster Mini Golf)

    PS…On a juicier note, wait until you see what we have planned for CES!

  100. Anonymous says:

    It appears that the busy bees at the Monster Cable camp have created a 16-page response letter, that they are sending as a “form letter” response to the myriad of people emailing them expressing their opinions on this lawsuit, including a 7-point personal letter from Noel himself, attempting to discredtit Monster Mini Golf.
    Someone from Gearslutz was nice enough to post it publically, giving us the opportunity to respond to it publically. Here is the link to the forum for your reading pleasure….
    -Patrick Vitagliano
    http://www.gearslutz.com/board/moan-zone/347260-monster-cable-suing-monster-mini-golf-3.html

  101. johnnyplaymate says:

    I wonder if noel lee has seen this, although he might fail to see the humor in it. What does he expect though, really? at least someone’s finally shoving it in his face. :P


    + Watch video

  102. crunchtime2k says:

    someone should hang this ass with his own cables