Monster Energy thinks it owns the word ‘monster’

A game dev is calling out the energy-drink maker for objecting any time a company wants to use the word “monster.”

Monster Energy drink

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.

The concern…

… 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:

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.

Get the 5-minute roundup you’ll actually read in your inbox​

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less​



How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?