September 10, 2018
Monster Energy is a company you can expect to do battle with if you file for a trade mark containing the word Monster or anything that sounds like Monster. Monsta Pizza found this out when they applied to register their fun Pizza concept which employs a great green monster who bakes the pizza in its huge fiery mouth. The drink company Monster Energy opposed Monsta’s application claiming the name would leave customers confused and wrongly linking the two brands together.
Monsta Pizzeria was founded last year by Chris Dominey and Christopher Lapham and is designed to appeal to families and is clearly trying to appeal to a different audience than Monster Energy. Having invested a considerable amount in creating a distinctive brand which they did not believe could be confused with the energy drink the Chris’ decided to brave it and fight the opposition.
Happily for Monsta Pizza after a hearing of the matter at the UK trademark office the office agreed and threw out Monster Energy’s opposition.
The Chris’ claim this is a victory for common sense and it is. It is heartening to see a business stand up to this type of attack. So often small business who face such a challenge feel pressured into changing their name rather than risk the adverse financial consequences of doing battle with an established brand. This is the case even though the UK Trade Mark Office (UKIPO) limits the costs that can be awarded against an unsuccessful party. In this case Monsta Pizza were able to recover £2100 of their costs which Monster Energy now have to pay. This does not fully compensate them for the cost in time and energy of being involved in such a process which can be pretty daunting to a business not working on these matters all the time. At Briffa we advise businesses of the possible lines of attack before filing so we can plan how to overcome any objection and that can help take the strain out of things and allow its founder to get on with running their business.
Best of all the great green monster is not going to be made redundant and can carry on baking. The people of Wendover looks like you are in for treat.
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