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Have you heard what Monster Cable is doing?

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#1 of 77 OFFLINE   rob_kato



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Posted January 03 2005 - 02:55 PM

Monster Cable has been doing some major strong-arm tactics on large and small companies that have used the word Monster in their name, product name or anything like it. Some of the things they are sueing about : Monster Garage Monster House Monster Energy Drink Snow Monsters (a kids skiing group) MonsterVintage (small used clothing store) Monsters Inc. Monster's of the Midway (Chicago Bears) Fenway Park's Monster seats Monster Job site If you can't afford to fight it, they will take as little as $1000 up front and only 1% of your gross yearly business income. This makes me sick. Rob (I can't post urls) www dot stopthemonster dot com

#2 of 77 OFFLINE   Evan H

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Posted January 03 2005 - 03:17 PM

At first I thought you were joking, so I googled "monster suing"... here's the first link... absolutely rediculous!


Monster fiercely protects its name
Cable products company sues those who use M-word
- Benny Evangelista, Chronicle Staff Writer
Monday, November 8, 2004

A monster by any other name might get you sued by Monster Cable Products Inc.

The Brisbane maker of electronics accessories has filed lawsuits and trademark infringement claims against dozens of companies for using "monster'' in names, products or services.

The TV series "Monster Garage'' and the Monster Seats above Fenway Park's left field wall have been targeted in what Monster Cable officials say is an aggressive legal strategy to protect the firm's good name.

"We have an obligation to protect our trademark; otherwise we'd lose it, '' said Monster Cable founder Noel Lee.

Critics like Victor Petrucci, founder of a small, family-owned online clothing store called MonsterVintage.com in Camas, Wash., say Monster Cable is going overboard.

"They strong-arm anybody who uses the word 'monster,' '' said Petrucci, who is fighting a lawsuit that Monster Cable filed against his firm in August. "I sell used clothing. How can I damage them at all?''

Petrucci drew public attention with a big protest sign attached to a truck outside the main parking lot during a 49ers game shortly after Monster Cable bought the naming rights to Candlestick Park in San Francisco.

Monster Cable legal counsel David Tognotti said it has registered more than 50 trademarks covering a wide range of products, including furniture, food and clothing. "We've spent millions of dollars as well as countless hours building our brand,'' he said.

Tognotti is preparing for a trial against the Discovery Channel over the popular TV series "Monster Garage,'' which he claims uses images of "provocative women'' and an iron cross logo that could tarnish Monster Cable's image.

With MonsterVintage, Tognotti said he tried to stop Petrucci's use of a logo that is very similar to Monster Cable's.

"We called them and said, 'We'd like you to stop,' '' Tognotti said. "He continued to ignore us, so we filed a lawsuit in federal court.''

According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and court records, Monster Cable has gone after other notable monsters:

-- Walt Disney Co., which distributed Pixar Animation Studios' hit film "Monsters, Inc.''

-- Bally Gaming International Inc. for its Monster Slots.

-- Hansen Beverage Co. for a Monster Energy drink.

-- The Chicago Bears, whose nickname is "Monsters of the Midway.''

In most cases, Monster Cable has been able to work out a settlement or nominal licensing agreement, Tognotti said.

For example, a deal is in the works with the owner of the Fenway Park Monster Seats trademark that will result in some seats being made available for charitable purposes at Monster and Fenway parks.

In 1999, Monster Cable sued the company it has been most mistaken for, Monster.com., the Maynard, Mass., online job-hunting site. The companies settled in February 2000, but agreed to keep the terms confidential.

However, trademark law attorney Anthony Malutta, who once defended a client in a case filed by Monster Cable, noted that Monster.com's site has a link to Monster Cable, not the other way around.

Monster Cable's policing of its trademark strengthens its legal rights and scares off would-be monsters, said Malutta, of Townsend and Townsend and Crew LLP of San Francisco.

However, that tactic might "hurt them if they go after everybody who uses 'monster,' like a little clothing company that really is not a source of confusion at all,'' he said.

E-mail Benny Evangelista at bevangelista@sfchronicle.com.

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URL: http://sfgate.com/cg....UG1J9N3C61.DTL

#3 of 77 OFFLINE   Evan H

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Posted January 03 2005 - 03:27 PM

I'm sure one of the lawyers on this board can better explain this than I can, but I remember an issue when microsoft was suing lindows for trademark infringement, part of their case was that they had to keep the windows trademark something that was exclusively microsoft or risk losing the right alltogether.

#4 of 77 OFFLINE   NicholasL


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Posted January 03 2005 - 03:36 PM

This is why all us audiophiles must spread the good word, not to mention boycotting all Monster Cable products from now until we die.

#5 of 77 OFFLINE   Matt_Smi


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Posted January 03 2005 - 04:17 PM

Yeah I am done buying Monster products; in fact I have been done buying them for a while now but this just put it over the top. I will not buy anything from a company that conducts itself like this (sounds like Bose tactics). I own a lot of Monster cables but they where all purchased around four years ago when I first got into HT, had no idea about how overpriced they where and they where all my local BB sold. I would like to replace them with something like Bluejeans cables, but that is at the bottom of the upgrade list, the Monster cables I have do their job fine but I will certainly never be purchasing anything from them again. I was considering buying a surge protector/line conditioner from them but once I heard about this I went with Panamax instead.

#6 of 77 OFFLINE   Ryan Tsang

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Posted January 03 2005 - 06:49 PM

I don't own any of their products and I wouldn't allow it in my home, let alone hooked up. I've noticed in past months the way they "infiltrate" big box stores like Future Shop, London Drugs, Best Buy, and A&B Sound. They take advantage of newbies, cramming their name down their throats so that newbies are brainwashed into thinking cables = Monster. Now they have those stupid power conditioner displays with those lights on top that look like flaming torches. These stores are the places where millions start out in their HT hobby, so it's slick marketing on their behalf. But I interpret that as aggressive, bullish, and strong-armed. It's sick. Like Bose. I don't have a problem with high-end cables at all. There are choices out there and consumers should be exposed to them.

#7 of 77 OFFLINE   Kurt Charnoski

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Posted January 03 2005 - 07:15 PM

Boycot Monster. Who the hell do they think they are that they own a word ?

#8 of 77 OFFLINE   Dan KW

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Posted January 03 2005 - 08:59 PM

I'd give them a monster middile finger but I would probably get sued.

#9 of 77 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted January 04 2005 - 01:26 AM

Will they be suing the porno sites too?

#10 of 77 OFFLINE   Rutgar


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Posted January 04 2005 - 02:27 AM

I think you can blame the courts, more than you can Monster Cable. After all, the word Monster has been around way longer than Monster Cable. And the first time MC tried to sue over it's use, they should have been slapped hard. I can see maybe protecting the term "Monster Cable". But not "Monster". Surely companies like Disney/Pixar didn't cave in to this extortion.

#11 of 77 OFFLINE   Elinor


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Posted January 04 2005 - 02:38 AM

Um, did you people read the article?

"We have an obligation to protect our trademark; otherwise we'd lose it, '' said Monster Cable founder Noel Lee."

They have, in fact, built a brand name that is very recognizable and that is highly valuable. They are not just a bunch of meanies. They are required to fight anyone else's use of the trademark they have, in order to protect it. Companies that have not, have lost the trademarks.

From http://www.invention....rk_Basics.html

"Loss of Rights
The rights afforded by a registered mark may be lost in a number of ways. The most obvious method of losing rights to a trademark is simply by not filing the required renewal paperwork.

Additionally, trademark rights may be lost through genericity, which is when the trademark becomes generic and has lost it's distinctive nature. The most common examples of this are the terms cellophane, aspirin, and thermos."

Guess you thought Thermos was an object, eh? Or Aspirin?

I say, good for Monster. The others may not have intentionally "stolen" their trademark, but Monster has every right, indeed the obligation to their shareholders, to protect the valuable property their trademark represents !!!

#12 of 77 OFFLINE   Rutgar


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Posted January 04 2005 - 02:48 AM

I think you miss the point. "Monster" is a generic term. It's been around for a long time. Way longer than "Monster Cable". Like I said, I wouldn't have a problem with them protecting "Monster Cable". But, the word "Monster", belongs to everyone.

#13 of 77 OFFLINE   Elinor


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Posted January 04 2005 - 02:54 AM

Rutgar, they can't prevent people from using the word. They are fighting people who are using the word as a product/company name. If they (Monster) registered the trademark first, they have every right to do that. Nothing prevented the others from registering the term if they used it first. If they did not use it first, they had the obligation to check to see if the term was already in use, and to select another term for their product if it was.

#14 of 77 OFFLINE   William_Gravem


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Posted January 04 2005 - 03:03 AM

There seems to be a significant difference between Monster and Bose though. Monster seems to make pretty good stuff that's overpriced, whereas Bose makes an overpriced inferior product.

#15 of 77 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted January 04 2005 - 03:08 AM

How can they sue the Red Sox for selling "Monster Seats" when the wall the seats sit on top of, refered to as the "Green Monster", has been around since 1912, has had it's current specifications since 1934 and has been named the "Green Monster" since 1947? This is not "protecting the valuable property their trademark represents", this is absurdity. It is not the equivalent of "Thermos" suing another manufacturer for calling their vacuum bottles "Thermos". It is the equivalent of a company calling itself "Vacuum Bottle Cables" and trying to sue Thermos, Coleman and all the other vacuum bottle manufacturers that were established far earlier than them. Big difference! Actually, it is really the equivalent of a manufacturer calling itself "Big Cables" and trying to sue "Big Boy", "Big Buys" or any other company calling itself "Big" something. Even more absurd.

#16 of 77 OFFLINE   Elinor


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Posted January 04 2005 - 03:17 AM

Jeff, they have to "aggressively defend" the trademark. It's not about them making sound judgments about who is trying to steal the trademark. The courts have to decide. If they let a few go by, that could be enough for a court to decide that they have not defended the trademark adequately.

Try to understand. The lawyers are doing their jobs.

This is a very interesting web site, have a look:


#17 of 77 OFFLINE   Rutgar


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Posted January 04 2005 - 03:22 AM

I think this statement really sums the whole thing up. What's that joke about 100,000 lawyers buried up to their necks in sand, being a "Good Start"?

#18 of 77 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted January 04 2005 - 03:39 AM

They do not have to "aggressively defend" something which is obviously not theirs to defend. Trademark or not, the Red Sox have owned the "Green Monster" since 1912 and have used the name since 1947. They are bringing this suit with the intention of getting money from the Red Sox so the Sox will not have to go to court to defend a blatantly obvious 57 year history of using the name "Monster" to describe their left field wall. Something tells me that Monster Cable is asking the Sox for about $1.00 less than what it would cost them to go to court. That's not defending a trademark, that's extortion. I could not care less about frivolous lawsuits, but when it siphons money from my beloved Red Sox that could be used to sign another starting pitcher, that's when I get angry!!!Posted Image

Support "Loser Pays" legislation!! We have nothing to lose (except the starting rotation)!!!

#19 of 77 OFFLINE   Elinor


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Posted January 04 2005 - 03:47 AM

Wow. While your opinion is interesting, your listening skills are weak. I'm not stating my opinion, but the way the law works. I guess facts don't matter. Well, whatever. I shrug and give up when confonted with irrationality.

#20 of 77 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted January 04 2005 - 04:07 AM

I read your facts and looked at the website. Aside from my tongue in cheek Red Sox bias, my listening skills are not weak. Although the website does mention the fact that a company has to "defend" it's trademark, in truth it states that a company that "fails to make active use of it, or fails to defend it against infringement may lose the exclusive right to use it." Nobody can say that Monster fails to use it's trademark. The rest of the site discusses "generic" use of a trademark. None of the information that follows is relevant to "Monster" as the use of a name for a cable manufacturer. No "Monster" patents have been sat upon, "Monster" has not become a generic term for audio and video cables and nobody uses "Monster" as a noun or verb. So, it becomes a case of preserving "exclusive rights" due to a perceived infringement. Thus they have to prove an infringement occured after the establishment of their exclusive rights. They cannot be saying that Monster Cable has exclusive rights to a term that was used to describe the "Green Monster" decades before the cable company was founded, can they?

Not so weak in the reading skills or listening skills, now am I? Posted Image

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