Just in case you didn’t know, Hansen Natural, makers of Monster Energy, owns all the rights to the letters “M O N S T E R” when they’re in that order. Or at least Hansen’s lawyers think the company does, because it’s going after a Vermont brewery for calling a beer “Vermonster.”
If the suit were based on violating on rule 19, article 7 of the Bad Pun Act it would have merit, but nah, Hansen thinks the name will confuse consumers who think they’re ordering a Monster Energy drink.
A story from the Vermont publication Seven Days interviewed Matt Nadeau, owner of Rock Art Brewery, the lawsuit’s target:
Nadeau, who holds the “Vermonster” trade name in Vermont, thinks the letter was probably triggered by his application to trademark it nationally. “I don’t get those people out there in California,” he says. Given that Nadeau sells about 95 percent of his beer “within 50 miles of Morrisville,” the feisty brewer says he fails to see how giving a single product a name that’s a play on its home state could damage a massive corporation making a completely different type of beverage.
So Nadeau called to offer a concession: He would promise to stay out of the energy-drink biz if Hansen stayed out of brewing. No luck. “Their third-party lawyer … believes they’ll likely pursue lawsuits and [proceedings against] trademark infringement,” Hansen says.
Neadeau says it could cost $15,000 to defend himself in court, and guess what — he’s gonna. You go,dude. He says in the story:
“They think, We’re just gonna steamroll it … We’ll take this little Vermont company and squash them. Well, sorry.”
Why must there be so many monster lawsuits?