The US Trademark Court has accepted Marvel Comics' request to delay proceeding in the trademark battle between the Monster Energy drink company and Marvel Comics over the trademark for the Monsters Unleashed comic book, still continuing to be published in comic book form. Marvel's lawyers say "This request is not filed for purposes of delay. Rather, Applicant needs more time to prepare its Answer or to otherwise plead, and additional time to confer with counsel, who is just now making an appearing in this proceeding" and that counsel for Monster Energy consented to such a request.
The new proposed schedule now stretches into 2019.
Time to Answer: 01/09/2018
Deadline for Discovery Conference: 02/08/2018
Discovery Opens: 02/08/2018
Initial Disclosures Due: 03/10/2018
Expert Disclosures Due: 07/08/2018
Discovery Period to Close: 08/07/2018
Plaintiff Pretrial Disclosures: 09/21/2018
Plaintiff's 30-day Trial Period Ends: 11/05/2018
Defendant's Pretrial Disclosures: 11/20/2018
Defendant's 30-day Trial Period Ends: 01/04/2019
Plaintiff's Rebuttal Disclosures: 01/19/2019
Plaintiff's 15-day Rebuttal Period Ends: 02/18/2019
It's debatable whether there will even be a Monsters Unleashed comic published by Marvel by then. Still, it's the trademark that counts.
Monster Energy is an energy drink introduced by Hansen Natural Company (now Monster Beverage Corporation) in April 2002. The regular flavour comes in a black can with a green, torn M shaped logo. There are 34 different drinks under the Monster brand in North America, including its core Monster Energy line, Java Monster, Extra Strength, Import, Rehab and Muscle Monster. And the strapline for the drink is Unleash The Beast.
Hence the added concern regarding Marvel's Monsters Unleashed.
Their paperwork says that Monster Energy claims they will be "damaged by registration of the Application in that Applicant's MONSTERS UNLEASHED! mark" as it so resembles their own. They also say that "MONSTER Marks and UNLEASH Marks, or at the very least, some of the MONSTER Marks and UNLEASH Marks, were well established and famous long before Applicant's filing date and alleged first use date for the MONSTERS UNLEASHED! mark."
Looks like it's going to be a monstrous 2018…