We’re back to thinking Hansen Beverage Company is being taken for a ride by its legal counsel, Continental Enterprises, with this latest chapter in their trademark bullying saga. An actor named Trygve Lode has been contacted by Continental Enterprises on behalf of Hansen and told to remove all advertising and sales of Monster Energy from his site. The only reference to Monster Energy is the photo above.
Hansen, not satisfied by merely going after smaller beverage manufacturers, apparently has decided to broaden their anti-infringing legal efforts, since this morning [October 14th, 2009] I received the aforementioned not-spam-even-if-it-looks-like-it email from Continental Enterprises, claiming that I am advertising and/or selling products that are confusingly similar to Monster Energy Drink™ and issuing the “demand that I discontinue [my] advertisement and sale of these products.”
The trigger for this sudden legal threat is this photo someone took of Trygve behind the scenes of a movie called “The Shadow Walkers,” where, unless we’re misreading the title, he played some sort of creature who walks shadows for a living. Yes, monsters keep shadows for pets, deal with it.
The reason for having a monster hold a can of Monster Energy in a snapshot should be obvious, but there’s also a slight history between Hansen and Trygve:
As a side note, the above picture (which has taken on a life of its own and tends to turn up embedded in message boards and other webpages across the internet) was taken when I was discussing the possibility of a product placement agreement with Hansen’s. Nothing ever came of it at the time, but I thought the picture was amusing enough all the same.
We’re just not sure how you can extrapolate from this one picture, taken back when Hansen and this monster were professionally flirting with each other, to trademark infringement—especially now that it’s fallen into the hands of the general forum-posting public. We sort of hope Monster Energy tries to sue the web.
We’ve contacted Hansen to ask them to confirm that they really have hired Continental Enterprises to speak on their behalf, because at this point we’re starting to wonder if maybe it’s just an online prank at their expense.
“Product Displacement” [Trygve.com]