Vincent Livings, CEO of game studio Glowstick Entertainment, wants everyone to know that Monster Beverage Corporation is a “notorious trademark troll.” And, wow, is he right.
The energy-drink maker frequently objects when other companies want trademarks, including the words “monster,” “beast,” or other things it thinks it owns.
It has filed 134 such objections in Japan — including against Pokémon (short for “pocket monsters”) — which the patent office has rejected, per Automaton. In the US, there are 100+ pending objections, per Gizmodo.
Monster’s beef with Glowstick Entertainment? Its game, Dark Deception: Monsters & Mortals.
… in a trademark objection is that customers might get confused, mistaking one brand for the other or assuming the two are related.
But a gander at Monster’s US objections reveals a variety of products that have nothing to do with energy drinks, including:
- Ice cream company Nice Monster
- The Sleeve Monster, a tool for removing shirtsleeves and looking very cool
- Meal prep service Beauty & the Beast Cuisine
- Potty Monsters, a line of diapers for adults who enjoy dressing like babies
Does this tactic work?
In 2020, Ubisoft changed a video game title after Monster filed a dispute, though it said the swap was unrelated.
Attorney Richard Hoeg told Video Game Chronicles that though Ubisoft would have likely won, “opposition to a USPTO filing can essentially win the day because it’s too expensive to fight.”
But MonsterFishKeepers, an online group for large fish enthusiasts, won thanks to students at a pro bono law clinic, and Livings intends to share Monster’s tactics with other game devs so they can vanquish the troll in the future.
BTW: In 2014, Monster had to pay the Beastie Boys $1.7m for using their music without permission in a video.
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