Friday, October 16, 2009

Corporate Terrorists vs. Craft Brewing

Apparently, Budweiser isn't the only company throwing out frivolous lawsuits against craft brewers.

Hansen Beverage Company, the maker of Monster Energy Drink, has apparently filed a lawsuit against Rock Art Brewery to stop them from using the name THE VERMONSTER for their Barley Wine.

I can totally see where someone might be confused:

You have GOT to be fucking kidding.

Although the owner of Rock Art Brewery has consulted 5 trademark lawyers in various states who say he has a good chance to win the case, the fact is it will still cost a lot of money to fight it.

My favorite line comes from their lawyer, though: "Escalator, aspirin, celluloid were once trademarks and they became common jargon because the owners didn't defend them or find a way to stop people from using those names," Riley said.

Yeah. Except MONSTER isn't exactly an original term pertaining to your product. The actual term is ENERGY DRINK. Maybe if you called your product ENERGERIZER or somesuch, you might have a point. As it stands, however, it is a bad analogy.

I think it would be hilarious if people dressed up as the Wolfman, Frankenstein, and Dracula then walked into the Hansen Beverage headquarters with a lawsuit claiming they own the term "Monster". Or better yet, General Mills slapping a lawsuit on them for people getting their drink confused with the Monster Cereals. I hear Boo-Berry is pissed.

I personally don't drink energy drinks. They're full of sugar and other chemicals I don't care for. If I want energy, I exercise and get sleep. If I need a pick me up, a cup of coffee does nicely.

If you drink Monster, you might want to find an alternate beverage until they knock this off. In fact, it's probably a good idea to stop drinking all Hansen beverages (funny how they don't have the Monster products on their product web page. Also funny is that the Monster product website is "under construction" - what's up guys, getting some pressure?) until they stop their corporate terrorism on Rock Art.

Me, I'll be printing copies of the article out and sharing it with management at different retailers, letting them know what's going on, and then asking them to tell their customers why they're not carrying Monster products anymore.

Pass it along. Let's make this thing viral...


Lost said...

If you would like to help the cause, pop over to my site for a list of things you can do. Everything is very simple, ranging from just buying Vermonster beer to writing a quick email to the Hansen company. Right now I have 12 things listed. That last being buying a Vermonster T-shirt, which Rock Art just started selling.

I'm not affiliated with Rock Art in any way...just another craft beer fanatic looking to help!


Josh said...

I'm surprised Monster Cable hasn't stopped them, also. They tried to sue the job search engine Monster citing the same reasons.