Bleeding Cool has been covering the legal battle between Monster Energy Drinks and Marvel Comics over the latter's attempted trademark registration of the words "Monsters Unleashed".
The phrase is the title of a new Marvel Comics title, but also one they published forty-five years ago. Monster Energy Drinks state they have used the phrase, or variants of it, when promoting their Monster Energy Drinks line.
Monster Energy Drinks first objected to the trademark registration back in August, then filed paperwork back in November, while Marvel managed to delay the case by a month. But delays are over and now the game is on.
After denying any knowledge of Monster Energy's life as a brand, Marvel lawyers stated that the words "Monster" and "Unleashed" are in common use in commerce and so Monster Energy Drinks can't establish any likelihood of confusion with their comic book.
However, Marvel proposed an amendment to their trademark registration that they will amend the category of registration from "Comic books; printed periodicals in the field of comic book stories and artwork; posters" to "Comic books featuring registrant's monsters and comic book characters; printed periodicals in the field of comic book stories and artwork; posters".
They are also proposing that Monster Energy Drinks trademark registrations should equally be restricted by adding "all of the foregoing related to the promotion of registrant's energy drinks and excluding comic books and comic book characters" to their paperwork.
Well, Monster Energy Drinks are having none of that. They have requested to the court that the motion to amend its trademark application should be denied, as they don't believe Marvel's amendment would avoid a likelihood of confusion.
And that because Monster Energy promote themselves in magazines and with stickers, they say that consumers would assume that they originate from the same source.
This is really going to court, isn't it?
Even though Marvel comics have cancelled their Monsters Unleashed comic book.