Wendover based company Monsta Pizza have won a landmark legal battle against Monster Energy, in a row over branding rights.
This is despite the brandings having almost no similarity, and a difference in spellings.
Monster Energy Drinks are renowned amongst the legal world for doing this and have made many small businesses go under.
They are currently the ‘No.1 Trademark Bully’ topping the list on www.trademarkia.com.
The brand are notorious for frivolous legal battles. For example In 2015, it took on Bordeaux-based Dassault Wine Estates, part of the Dassault Group, which includes Château Dassault, Château La Fleur and Château Faurie de Souchard, formerly owned by the late French aviation industrialist Serge Dassault. The company, which later withdrew its complaint, claimed that the name would cause confusion with its Monster Assault drink.
Chris Dominey from Monsta Pizza said: “We are just two dads from a village in Bucks who got frustrated with the lack of quality restaurants available to our children and so we created Monsta Pizza.
“It’s a brand based around our monster-shaped oven, a character we designed to appeal to families and to tell our story.
“We exist to inspire children, to educate them about good food and to provide a quality eating experience for families. We are the complete opposite of Monster Energy Drink, which is why we feel this this whole episode has been so ridiculous.
“I’m just so relieved and excited to say, we won!!!!
“On Thursday George Salthouse of the UK Intellectual Property Office ruled that Monster Energy Drinks had failed in their attempt to prevent us using the the name Monsta Pizza.
“Its been a long and frustrating battle, which started in June 2017 when we applied to register our trademark, and finally ended in a tribunal hearing in London a few weeks ago and the decision last week.
“They objected to our use of the word Monsta on all possible grounds.
“We decided to fight it rather than give up and rebrand for two reasons; firstly, we really like our name, it perfectly encompasses what we do and our customers like it too.
“And secondly, we believed their objection was wrong and we weren’t prepared to walk away from all our hard work just because a bully didn’t like what we were doing. I’ve done that before and its the only thing I’ve ever really regretted.
“We’re so pleased that common sense prevailed and incredibly grateful for the support and encouragement we received from everybody who heard about it when we finally made public what was going on. Now that this is all over we’re roaring to go. Or as the Monsta says,‘Pizzaaaaaargh!”
The company are now looking forward to moving on, and doing what they do best.
Chris added: “Now its time to concentrate on feeding the bellies and minds of little monstas and their families up and down the land.
“You can catch us at various markets and events around London and the Home Counties which we advertise on our Instagram and Facebook pages or hire us for your own private or corporate event. If you’d like to have a go at making your own pizza, we’re running children’s pizza making workshops at Peterley Manor Farm’s Feast on the Farm event on the 6th & 7th October in Prestwood.”
Monster Energy have been ordered to pay £2,100 towards Monsta’s legal costs.
And Dom has a message for small firms who get threatened by big corporate bodies: “If you believe you are right, as a matter of principle you should stand up for yourself, no matter who it is you are up against. You do need a good attorney on your side in these sorts of matters as it’s a complicated area. We started off trying to respond by ourselves but quickly realised we were out of our depth! We employed Michael Downing of Downing IP Ltd in Beaconsfield and he was amazing, without him we’d have had no hope.”
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