The Wall Street Journal published a story about how Monster Cable was trying to bully the owners of a mom-and-pop business into changing their name. According to David Tognotti, Monster Cable’s general manager and an attorney, the company considers “Monster” a famous mark — on a par with Barbie dolls or Camel cigarettes, giving them the right to prevent an indoor mini golf establishment from calling itself “Monster Mini Golf.” (I guess Mr. Tognotti’s IP professor didn’t fill him in on how much success Mattel has had keeping people from using its “Barbie” trademark. See here and here.) He even cites to “McCarthy on Trademarks” as his authority. However, WSJ interviewed Professor McCarthy, who pointed out that federal courts get to decide which marks are famous, not general managers of stereo cable manufacturers.
Other ridiculous enforcement efforts, pursued by Monster Cable:
- Monster Garage (a show on the Discovery Channel about modding cars and trucks)
- Monster Energy Drink
- Monster HTPC (a maker of high-end gaming PCs)
- Snow Monsters (a kid’s skiing group)
- MonsterVintage.com (a small used clothing store)
- Monsters, Inc. (an animated feature film, produced by Pixar)
- Monsters of the Midway (a nickname of the Chicago Bears football team)
- Green Monster seats (taking their name from the left field wall at Fenway Park)
- Monster.com (an employment website)
This story was originally published on The Legal Satyricon.