"Monster vs Monster" Pits Goliath Cable Maker Against David-Sized Mini Golf Company

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patrick@monster...

I'll be brief, but I just wanted to take a minute to update this post for the sake of complete information. We (Monster Mini Golf) have settled with Monster Cable, with a rather interesting conclusion.
It wasn't until both parties started to recognize that nobody was winning except the lawyers, and agreed to speak one-on-one, without the lawyers present. After that, the conversation flowed rather freely, and both parties were able to get a better understanding of each other's positions. While we agreed to disagree on each other's core positions, without the filter of lawyers, it was much easier to reach a settlement speaking directly with Noel and Kevin Lee.

They have agreed to drop the lawsuit and refund all of our legal fees. Further, they have abandoned opposition of our trademark application, allowing us to register it. Beyond that, (and unlike the other companies that have managed to reach settlement before us) we do not have to issue any ridiculous public statements (like.."We are all best friends now"....etc.) and there is no gag-order, so we are free to speak openly and honestly about this case.
But the most important outcome of this case is this......Monster Cable has agreed to rethink their quest for a "Famous Mark", and have decided from here on out, to relegate it's trademark defenses strictly to businesses "confusingly similar" to Monster Cable (or other marks that they own) and NOT extend that to anyone who uses the word in any context.

So in other words, it stops here. It's over. The world spoke up and demanded change, and Monster Cable stepped up and promised change. I just wanted to personally thank you all for your interest and involvement in this story, as without all of your voices creating a greater voice, our voice may never have been heard.

Thank you,
Patrick Vitagliano
Co-Founder of Monster Mini Golf

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randallsteckle

Oh wait, here they are, I knew the web would give back one of these days.

 Best Buy Public Relations Department
Email: [email]NewsCenter@bestbuy.com[/email]
Phone: 612-292-NEWS (6397)

Circuit City contact page:

[url]http://www.circuitcity.com/ccd/contactUs.do?mail_type=other[/url]

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randallsteckle

I pray that the people at monster cable finally get what's coming to them. After all the companies they have basically extorted over the use of this everyday english word i really hope that this all blows up in their face. Are they kidding with this? Is what this country needs more corporations looking to destroy small entrepreneurs dreams? Just be happy mc guys that you've made a successful business out of yourselves and let others do the same. They can't be happy about the boycott that's going around, and from what I've heard the monster mini golf guys have some big thing planned for the CES international 09 show - that CAN'T be good for business. monster cable, back the hell off. we are all getting tired of your antics.

email this guy and tell him such:

 nlee@Monstercable.com

be sure to wipe the slime off your screen after reading his response.

and if you can send your intentions of boycott to best buy and circuit city and the like. the internet likes that sort of thing. makes it say yum.

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pangritt

No, Patrick is from Monster Mini Golf and I work for Monster Cable. This discussion has appeared in other forums and blogs. I apologize if it has impinged on how discussions are handled here, and I appreciate the advice on for future discussions.

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patrick@monster...

Mr Lee.....
Really? I mean.....REALLY??
After the mess you've made, and the $183,000. you've cost us so far.....
You come to this forum and ask us for more money????
$100. per month, per franchise, is $2,200. per month, and you say it's not about money?

Here's a better idea.....Leave us alone.....Live and let live.

We would like you to stop opposing the "Monster Mini Golf" mark that the USPTO already granted us.
We would then like you to reimbuse us for the crippling legal fees that we have had to accrue as a result of your actions.
Just clean up your mess, get us back to zero, and let's all get on with our lives.

You have already ruined Christmas for us, and the emotional damage that you have caused for my wife so far can never be undone. She is crying even as I write.

-Patrick Vitagliano

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nekollx

REAL bussiness would NEVER air their grivences in a public forum like this.

 

How many wanna bet the duel mosters here are posers?

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pangritt

Public Proposal to Monster Mini Golf

The internet has changed how companies like us can defend our brand and prevent the dilution of our trademarks by those who choose to infringe on them. By appealing to consumers’ emotions using mis-information and distorted truths has created a different dynamic to patent and trademark protection. The sentiment of our customers wins over our rights to protect the brand. Monster Mini Golf is attempting to trademark “Monster”, Monster Mini Golf, and Monster Entertainment in areas that we already own, so we had no choice to file a lawsuit, or otherwise suffer dilution of our mark and potential loss of the mark itself.

It’s costly to sue anyone, no one wants to do it.  We have made many attempts to avoid this lawsuit by offering a simple and low cost license agreement that would allow us to protect our trademarks that we already own, and allow Monster Mini Golf to use the name for their business. They refused each time.

Through their attempts to disparage us as a greedy corporate bully, we have been wrongly portrayed as a company focused on squashing small business, when the opposite is true. We are also a small business, and have survived for 30 years.  This lawsuit admittedly has caused so much misguided ill will amongst our customers, that we have no choice but to give up on it, and along with it our rights to have a judge or jury decide this conflict. 

So we are publicly declaring;

1)     Monster has filed papers with the Federal Court to dismiss the lawsuit against Monster Mini Golf as of Friday, December 12, 2009. We will let the trademark office decide when they review their trademark application.

2)     Monster will still owns the trademarks granted by the trademark office for which we offer a license for the use of them to Monster Mini Golf for a minimal royalty of $100 per month per franchise.  Monster (us) will donate and match the royalty proceeds to the following charities that Monster has supported.

The Elf foundation; Creating Rooms of Magic:
http://www.elfsystems.org/partners.html

Seg4Vets:  Segways for disabled veterans

http://www.draft.cc/draft3/Donations/Benefactors/tabid/113/Default.aspx

Monster Mini Golf will then have the ability to use and franchise the “monster” trademark and continue with their business, and we will have continued protection. This will save thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees and the court’s time.  Everyone wins.

This lawsuit was never about the money, our requests were always minimal.  It’s about the protection of our trademarks.  It’s unfortunate for anyone who owns a trademark or patent, that the wrongful and disparaging remarks of a few can inhibit companies like ours from pursuing our right to legal process.

In this country, lawsuits are a method to resolve differences of opinion. The courts resolve disputes thousands of time each day. It is not always the bad guy suing the good guy.  It’s asking the court to hear the both sides and make a decision.  A judge or a jury determines ones right to trademark ownership.  We believe that we would win this case, or we never would have filed it.  This is far from a frivolous lawsuit, we have the prior trademarks to prove it.

For all of those who have supported us during this attack on our integrity, we thank you for your support. We apologize to everyone who may have been affected by our lawsuit with Monster Mini-Golf.  We apologize to our loyal customers who may have been negatively impacted and to our retailers whose customers may have been affected by mis-information.  We are sorry for all of the ill-will that has been generated on both sides.

For 30 years, we have prided ourselves on making the highest performance products in everything that we do.  We have millions of happy customers. With economic conditions as they are, we need to focus on our core business.  We will just keep producing the great high quality products for all to enjoy and hopefully Monster Mini Golf will get what they want one way or the other.

Thanks for lending your ear,

Noel Lee

The Head Monster

Founder and Owner of Monster

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dc10ten

donating proceeds is all well and good. I would suggest (if it is within your ability) to possibly seek a revised version of your patent. Just simply having "monster" is probably the biggest problem you are facing here. patent the "Monster Cable" and you should be good to go.

 Just curious if it is possible. 

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nekollx

dude super long posts do not make friends...

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pangritt

Sorry, just didn't think people would take the time to head over to MonsterTruth.com for the whole story.

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nekollx

some free advice:

People go to webpages to read long detailed posts 9if they are interested) 

 

People read coments for quick-fire banter and questions not multi page referandums 

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pangritt

In coming to any conclusions you may want to know the whole story as I believe that Monster Mini Golf have led you to believe things that are not true. We believe that they are using sympathy towards entrepreneurial small businesses to their own gains.

Regardless of what false representations have been circulated about Monster, we are not a faceless corporate giant out to squash legitimate business concerns and rising entrepreneurs. We are in fact, a family-owned company that relies heavily on our brand name and reputation in order to continue serving our customers. We have always tried to provide our customers with the highest performance products at an affordable price.

Having started in a San Francisco garage 30 years ago, Monster has become a famous brand. We have millions of passionate customers love our products. While we are best known for our cable products, we manufacture many other products in areas of home theater, computing, gaming, entertainment and power. In addition to consumer electronics we make and have registered trademarks in the areas of sporting, clothing, and food products. To protect the tradename used in these “Monster” products, we have been awarded trademarks in all of these respective categories (listed below)

It’s interesting to note, that Monster Mini-Golf has NOT been awarded ANY trademarks by the Patent and Trademark office with the Monster name in them, yet they are selling franchises with the name. We filed our lawsuit to protect our name from being improperly used, even though we offered them an inexpensive license to use the name. According to the trademark law, we must enforce our marks or we will lose our rights to them. A lawsuit asks for the court will be the final decision maker in this case, not us.

We hope you will have the time to read the below bullets to fully understand the facts before making judgments against myself or my company.

1) Monster Mini Golf Misconceptions:
Monster Mini Golf is not small Mom-and-Pop business. In fact it is seemingly well funded national organization selling franchises with the Monster trademark  that currently goes across 10 states, “from Florida to California” as it says on their web site. The company currently has 24 franchise locations.  Under the name Monster Mini Golf, the company has filed for several “Monster” marks, including “MONSTER” by itself, MONSTER MINI GOLF, MONSTER FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT CENTERS and MONSTER MINI GOLF which interfere with our already awarded marks. In addition, the company charges franchise and set up fees upwards of $200,000, part of which is the licensing of the name “Monster”, for which they do not own a registration with the trademark office, to all of those franchises.

  •  

      Check their website: http://www.monsterminigolf.com/cost_breakdown.html 

       If they were a small family owned business, that would not bother us because the dilution of our name is minimal. Monster Mini Golf is a franchise operation.  The owners want to continue to expand their business and use of the “Monster” trademark. “I would like to be known as the best franchise to own,” Vitagliano says. “… I want to be the Universal Studios or Disney World of mini-golf. I always want to stand in a class of our own. I want our brand to become a household name so that people across the country know Monster Mini Golf.” (see: http://www.pr.com/press-release/70857  ) With such wide distribution intentions, they will dilute our Monster trademark to an extent to where it would lose it.

2) Patent and Trademark office has Awarded Monster (us) with trademarks that go far beyond cables.
Many may think that we are only Monster Cable. Over the past 30 years we have conducted business with many Monster marks. We have been awarded 100 registered Monster trademarks in 12 different classes by the Patent and Trademark office, All of these trademarks predate Monster Mini Golf’s application for trademark, which has not yet been granted. Link to our Monster trademarks: http://www.monstercable.com/monster_truth/Monster_Cable_Trademark.pdf Monster Mints. Monster Power. Monster Game. Monster ScreenClean. Monster Performance Car. Monster Music. Monster Pro. Monster Central. or Monster Sport. The name “Monster” is a registered trademark owned by us in the categories of electronics, music, games, food product, entertainment, and cleaning products. Contrary to popular understanding, It is not unusual to own trademarks that are common English words.  Tide detergent, Dial Soap, Crest toothpaste, Dallas Cowboys are such examples.  30 years ago, the Patent and Trademark office granted Noel Lee the name “Monster”, exclusive of the name “cable”.

3) Monster is obligated to defend its marks or risk losing them.
We do not like suing. It is expensive for both parties and is a last resort. It’s our obligation under the Patent and Trademark law to enforce our marks, or lose them. As noted in the link cited below, “companies that tolerate infringing uses of their mark risk losing all their rights in the mark if a third party challenger claims the company abandoned their mark by not enforcing it. Thus, companies cannot pick and choose against whom they are going to enforce their mark.” http://www.marklaw.com/trademark-glossary/confuse.htm .  The easiest solution is to do a low cost and simple license agreement, which we tried several times to do but Monster Mini Golf refused.

4) Monster must defend its marks just as other well respected companies have done so.
Monster needs to defend our mark just as Apple, Virgin, Ebay, Amazon or other companies who have developed their marks must do so. These companies, like us, are within their legal rights to protect their marks as provided for by the Patent and Trademark office. Over the past 30 years we have built many “Monster” brands spanning many product categories, we believe that we have established as a well-known and respected famous mark in our Monster name.

See Examples below.

  •  
    •  
      •  
        •  
          •  

              Apple has also enforced against a number of people who have used the word “POD” as a trademark. For example: MEDPOD, LONPOD, CONTROLPOD, BACPOD, VIDEO POD, SPYPOD, MYPODDER, PODPRESENTER). You can view more obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark website at:  http://www.monstercable.com/monster_truth/Apple_TTAB.pdf

              In 2008 Apple filed an opposition in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office against New York City's "Big Apple" logo for the GreenNYC initiative. (http://www.monstercable.com/monster_truth/NYC_Apple.pdf) Apple also filed an opposition against Green Apple Music Arts & Festival for use of an apple in their logo and the word Apple for music event.

          •  

              Ebay has an active trademark enforcement program for the word “BAY.” Ebay has proceeded against a number of people who have used the word BAY as a trademark. For example: XS BAY, PENNY BAY, HELPU BAY, RIDEBAY, EVERYTHINGBAY, ONEBAY, FREEBAY, TELEBAY, SWAYBAY, FONEBAY). You can view more obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark website at: (http://www.monstercable.com/monster_truth/eBay_ttab.pdf   

          •  

              Richard Branson’s company, Virgin, vigorously enforces the word “VIRGIN.” Virgin has proceeded against a number of people who have used the word VIRGIN as a trademark, including: WILD VIRGIN, VIRGIN PINE NATIVE SHEEP BLUE, EXTRA VIRGIN, VIRGINAL CLOTH, BARELY VIRGIN COCKTAILS, VIRGIN SOIL, VIRGIN TURBAN, VIRGIN YOGURT, VIRGIN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, CALIVIRGIN, VIRGIN EYES). You can view more obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark website at: http://www.monstercable.com/monster_truth/Virgin_ttab.pdf

          •  

              Amazon enforces its "AMAZON" trademark and opposes people who use it or variations. Amazon has proceeded against people who have used trademarks such as: AMAZON TAXI, AMAZON VENTURES, PRINT AMAZON, AMAZON THUNDER DRINK, AMAZN INFO, AMAZON BANK, etc. You can view more obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark website at: http://www.monstercable.com/monster_truth/Amazon_TTAB.pdf

        • Ebay, Inc.

          Virgin Enterprises, Inc.

          Amazon.com

    • Apple, Inc

5) Wrongful accusations made by Monster Mini Golf.
We have never sued the Chicago Bears. We have not filed 400 lawsuits. We do not pick on small business, as we are also a small business. We don’t like lawsuits any more than any other company, and don’t like spending money on attorneys, especially in light of the current economic situation.

6) We want to end this lawsuit as much as anyone.
We did not want to file a lawsuit. Before filing the lawsuit, we made many overtures offering reasonable and inexpensive licensing arrangement to Monster Mini Golf, which would allow the company to use the name, while at the same time maintaining our trademark rights. The company has refused, so we had no option but to file a lawsuit. Monster Mini Golf can easily avoid the costs of a lawsuit, and save everyone time and money if it would license the mark at very little cost to them, and a fraction of the cost of a lawsuit. We have many attempts to work with Monster Mini Golf’s attorneys to try to settle this to everyone’s satisfaction.

7) Corporate Bully?
It’s important to note that we are not some gigantic corporate bully as portrayed. We are also a small company with a great culture, still family owned with 500 employees in Brisbane California. We are not a public company with deep pockets. It’s not inconceivable that Monster Mini Golf could exceed the reach of Monster Cable with the trademark of Monster. You can come to our web site to meet the Monsters, www.monstercable.com.

I hope this information helps. We value you as a customer, and hope you stay with us. We feel that our product quality and innovation is second to none, and would like for you to continue to enjoy your music and video in the best way possible.

If you would like to talk with me about this, please email me at truth@monstercable.com

Monsterously,
Noel Lee

The Head Monster

List of Some Monster Trademarks in the U.S.:

 

 

  

Mark

First Use

Class No.

Goods

MONSTER

06/15/2000

28

Sporting Goods

MONSTER ATTITUDE

07/02/2001

25

Clothing, namely, t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, pants, and caps.

MONSTER

05/19/1978

9

Electrical and musical signal transmitting cable and connectors.

MONSTER

06/01/1989

16

Newsletters and catalogs providing entertainment industry and cable industry news.

MONSTER

12/20/1983

25

Clothing, namely, sweatshirts, t-shirts, pants, jackets, and caps.

MONSTER (new font)

12/31/1998

9

Electrical and optical cables, wires and connectors for use with audio and video components.

MONSTER BASS

07/31/1991

9

Electrical and electronic devices

MONSTER CABLE

05/18/1978

9

Musical and voice signals transmitting cable and connectors therefore.

MONSTER CABLE (cable design)

05/19/1978

6

Speaker wire.

MONSTER CABLE (Stylized)

11/26/1984

9

Computer cables.

MONSTER CABLE SPECIAL

01/20/1982

9

Audio Cable.

MONSTER CAR AUDIO

05/30/1994

9

Car audio cables, power and audio cables.

MONSTER CENTRAL

08/25/1998

9

Electrical signals distribution panels, boards, boxes, consoles and machines; and parts of and accessories for such goods.

MONSTER CENTRAL

08/27/1998

11

Lighting, namely lighting fixtures.

MONSTER CLAMPS

01/01/1990

9

Electrical cable clamps.

MONSTER COMPUTER

12/31/1996

9

Computer Cables.

MONSTER CONNECTION

12/30/1990

16

Newsletter about consumer electronics.

MONSTER DESIGN

01/01/1988

9

Cable connectors for use with audio equipment.

MONSTER DIGITAL

12/31/1998

9

Electrical signal transmitting cable and connectors.

MONSTER FLATSCREEN (Stylized)

11/03/2006

9

Electrical and electromagnetic signal transmitting devices.

MONSTER GAME

11/13/2000

9

Electrical and electronic control devices.

MONSTER GAME (Stylized & Design)

11/13/2000

9

Electrical and electronic control devices.

MONSTER GEAR

10/07/2005

25

Clothing, namely T-shirts, jackets, hats, polo shirts and vests.

MONSTER GEAR

10/17/2005

18

Luggage.

MONSTER HOME THEATRE

06/30/1993

9

Audio cables

MONSTER INTERNET

03/31/1997

9

Computer cables and telephone cables. (as amended)

MONSTER LOCK

08/07/1998

9

Electrical connectors.

MONSTER MARINE

07/01/2004

9

Electrical and electromagnetic signal transmitting devices.

MONSTER MICROPHONE

04/16/1998

9

Microphones, namely microphone cables.

MONSTER MINTS

01/08/2004

30

Mint candy.

MONSTER MOBILE

09/14/2001

9

Mobile telephone accessories, namely battery rechargers.

MONSTER MOUNTS

04/02/1998

9

Loudspeaker mounting units

MONSTER MULTIMEDIA

03/28/1997

9

Audio and video products, namely cables, switch boxes and junction boxes.

MONSTER MUSIC

01/01/1988

41

Production of compact discs.

MONSTER MUSIC

01/01/1988

42

Distributorship services in the field of prerecorded compact discs of various artists. (as amended)

MONSTER MUSIC

06/03/1988

9

Compact Discs.

MONSTER NETWORKING

06/10/1997

9

Connectors and cables for the transmission of data signals.

MONSTER PERFORMANCE CAR

09/09/2004

9

Electrical and electromagnetic signal transmitting devices.

MONSTER PHOTO

12/31/2003

9

Rechargeable and non-rechargeable power cells.

MONSTER POWER

02/01/1992

9

Electrical power control products.

MONSTER POWER (Stylized and Design)

05/27/1998

9

Powerstrips, electrical surge protectors, circuit chargers and UPS

MONSTER POWERCELL

12/09/2002

9

Rechargeable and non-rechargeable power cells.

MONSTER ROCK

02/25/2004

9

Electrical and electromagnetic signal transmitting devices.

MONSTER SATELLITE

01/31/1995

9

Satellite disk-to-receiver interconnects; electrical cables.

MONSTER SOUND

10/29/1990

9

Audio equipment, namely electrical cables and connectors.

MONSTER SPORT

04/01/1992

25

Clothing, namely T-shirsts, jackets, hats, polo shirts and vests.

MONSTER STANDARD

12/31/1979

9

Electrical signal transmitting cable and connectors.

MONSTER STYLE

12/01/1990

41

Classes and seminars in the field of audio systems.

MONSTER TALK

01/03/2006

9

Cellular telephones and hands free cellular telephone kits.

MONSTER TIPS

01/01/1981

9

Electrical audio connectors for stereo and video components.

MONSTER UNIVERSITY

07/31/2000

41

Online training with respect to electronic products.

MONSTER USB

08/20/2001

9

USB Cables and connector devices for computers.

MONSTER VIDEO

02/07/1986

9

Video cables.

MONSTER WIRE AMERICA

11/17/1999

9

Electrical signal transmitting cables and connectors.

MONSTER WIRED

09/30/2001

41

Providing on-line newsletters containing information about cable, power and electronic devices.

MONSTEROUS

11/10/1997

9

Electrical and electronic control devices,

MONSTERS LIVE FOREVER

04/30/1998

9

Electrical and electromagnetic signal transmitting devices.

MONSTERS LIVE FOREVER

04/30/1998

36

Extended warranty services.

EMONSTER

06/11/2001

35

Promoting the goods and services of others by providing hypertext links to the web sites of others.

IMONSTER

06/11/2001

35

Promoting the goods and services of others by providing hypertext links to the web sites of others.

I hope this information helps. We value you as a customer, and hope you stay with us. We feel that our product quality and innovation is second to none, and would like for you to continue to enjoy your music and video in the best way possible. If you would like to talk with me about this, please email me at truth@monstercable.com

Monsterously,
Noel Lee
The Head Monster

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pangritt

On Behalf of Noel Lee, the founder of Monster Cable. 

I am aware of your concerns regarding the lawsuit that we filed against Monster Mini Golf, a Rhode Island-based company that franchises miniature golf establishments across the U.S. (currently 24 locations). Suffice to say we take this lawsuit very seriously and filed only as a necessary measure to protect our established trademark rights. 

Regardless of what false representations have been circulated about Monster, we are not a faceless corporate giant out to squash legitimate business concerns and rising entrepreneurs. We are in fact, a family-owned company that relies heavily on our brand name and reputation in order to continue serving our customers. We have always tried to provide our customers with the highest performance products at an affordable price. While we are best known for our cable products, we also manufacture high performance accessories in business areas ranging in home theater, computing, gaming, portable entertainment and power management. To protect these business areas, we have sought and been awarded trademarks for each respective category. In addition to the areas above, in the past 30 years, we have also expanded the categories including sports and other lifestyle ventures. According to the trademark law, we must enforce our marks or we will lose them and they will become generic. 

We were trying our best to avoid the lawsuit, and we are trying our best to settle the lawsuit. 

We appreciate your viewpoints and hope you will review the attached documents to fully understand the facts before making judgments against myself or my company. http://www.monstercable.com/monster_truth 

Monsterously,
Noel Lee
nlee@monstercable.com

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Keith E. Whisman

Well... Mr. Lee does appear to be fairly reasonable. Perhaps it would be a little rash to not buy a Monster brand guitar cable after all.

So it's only when someone tries to use Monster as a trade mark or product name then it's a bad deal. Anything that can infringe on the Patented trade mark holder in this case Monster Cable.

Now I think that Monster Mini Golf should lic the name.  

 

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Mongoitus

I do believe we have a company Shill!

Good luck on getting that promotion! Brownie points + 5

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Keith E. Whisman

No Shill here.. I just flip flop and agree with everyone to make them feel better. LOL... Only I know how I truely feel about things I think...

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nekollx

wow Max PC seems to becoming a major PR poitn for Big, little, and family owned Bussiness.

 

(now this is only for humor so dont get two riled up Noel)

 

you know "Family owned" does not exclude Big Bussiness.

 

Stark Industries is a family own bussiness but i doubt anyone would call Tony Stark a "small business man" same with Wayne Enterprises :P

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Queenof1

Reminds me of the time that a big company (sanyo or sony, I can't remember which) sued a small restaurant owner because of copyright infringement. What I do remember is that the name of the restaurant was the woman's name. so this poor woman couldn't even have her restaurant named after her. Who's going to confuse a restaurant with electronics? Who's going to confuse cable with mini golf?

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Keith E. Whisman

I think we need to send as much hate mail to the execs at www.monstercables.com 

And Monstercables.com needs to have a constant problem with their website staying up and available. Denial of service anyone? The famous DNS attack needs to be made. Now I don't know how to do it and I don't condone acts like that as I don't really know the legality of such acts but I got to tell ya that I for one wouldn't lose any sleep if www.monstercables.com were to become unresponsive for whatever reason....

 

Anyone with any knowhow take the hint? 

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Biggins

This company has a link on their website of the ongoing litigation with Monster Cable.

http://www.bluejeanscable.com/legal/mcp/index.htm

 Fortunately, the owner of Blue Jeans Cable (BJC) is a former litigation lawyer and did not give in to the demands of Monster. You can read the 8 page letter he sent in response to Monster's claims. It appears Monster has given up on their efforts to sue BJC because the last post was in April 2008. I guess the lawyers at Monster were looking for some easy money and didn't want to actually go to court. Good job Blue Jeans!

 Personally, I think Monster cables are way overpriced and they are trying to create a monopoly. The last time I went into Circuit City, it was hard to find anything that wasn't made by Monster. I think they are making deals with retailers to only carry their brand of cables to drive out the competition. I refuse to buy their products.

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etsugua

no more-- i don't care how sweet a sale.

And I agree -- ban all Monster cables until they give this up and give the money back to the companies they stole it from.  I will bet all alleged 400 companies they forced to settle so far were relatively small companies -- no way Disnew and Monster.com folds.  I would also bet they will never attempt to sue the big companies because they know those guys have the money to pony up the lawyers to fight and beat them.

The law firm that took this case should lose their license.  This is predatory and abusive use of the law at it's worst.

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Keith E. Whisman

If you play guitar I recommend that you do not buy Monster Cable brand cables. Screw them.  

If you work in a music store I emplore you to notify your customers of Monster Cables Business practices. Try to talk people out of buying those cables. 

Lets try to send a message by not buying their products and destroying their product reputation. Maybe then they will realise what's more important. 

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yugiah

God, how much bigger of a douchebag can some people get? They have no right to do that, people have been using that word long before their company was even concived. They just need to go f-off and accept the fact that the word "monster" is widely used, along with every other freakin' word in the english language!

 

 

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jediken21

So, it's cheap and easy I guess, until a judge decides to finally just call BS, but serious they aren't even in the same market as these companies. I could see them doing that to other cable manufactures...but mini golf, wat.

 Maybe they should focus on making cables that don't suck. 

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charcaroth

This is just plain weak on the part of Monster Cable.  Trademarks aren't quite that easy to abuse.  The problem is that people tend to fold when they're sent a letter from a faceless attorney.  If you actually handle a legal challenge in a reasonable, responsible manner, you'll find that the U.S. legal system isn't the ludicrous black hole that it's often made out to be.  Monster is just making a play to make some cheap and easy cash from uneducated suckers who would rather pay off a bully than face them down. 

This happens to school systems all the time when they're sent nasty letters by Disney attorneys around the holidays because some poor teacher showed Monsters, Inc. one day before Christmas instead of trying to teach the little monsters in their classroom.  If the school can demonstrate that the movie is being showed for educational reasons (which the administration will darn well wring SOMETHING out of it such as teaching kids their colors, counting the number of participle phrases used, or providing background for a comparative study in exozoology) then there's a gaping exception in the law of copyright that you can drive a truck through.  How about some love for our fair use rights?  If we don't exercise them, we lose them.  Educational use is one of our fair use rights for copyright law. 

 There is no fair use for trademarks, of course, but one cannot simply have a trademark or servicemark for a term that enjoys such a blanket use throughout the country as Monster is proposing.  A balancing test is applied that considers 1) how widespread the proposed trademark would be 2) how unique or limited the trademark is  3) the scope of the proposed trademark.  For example, you could have a brand of soap called "Soapy" that was only sold in the state of Florida even if there was a soap company making "Soapy Soap" on the West coast but didn't market to or sell in Florida.  Likewise, you would have a stronger trademark in a soap called "Buubrick" (a made up term) than you would if you called it "Soapy", a descriptive term.  You would always have the ability to call your soap "Fred's Soap" if your name was Fred, even if a large company already had a "Fred's Soap" marketed in your area provided that consumers could reasonably tell the difference.

The issue here with Monster though, is the SCOPE of the trademark at hand.  Monster is likely the senior (longest holding) mark holder nationwide for audio/video cables for the name "Monster Cables" since they're sold by a nationwide company, Beast Buy.  I would not get a competing mark granted by a state or by the USPTO for a product that mimics what Monster produces simply because it's not fair for me to be able to benefit from the "goodwill" and marketing done by Monster in that area.  However, I could very well produce a line of shoes called Monster, a car called a Monster, or a line of furniture called Monster because a reasonable consumer would not confuse a Monster Cable with a pair of shoes.  Monster Cables has absolutely no basis for making claims that their trademark extends into these areas because they do not make shoes, cars, or furniture.  In fact, Monster Mini-Golf has every right under the law (which is none) to sue Monster Cables for infringing on their trademark.  What the mini-golf folks need to do is simply go into Federal District court and let Monster Cables try to explain to a judge why the average American would confuse a stereo cable with a putter.  Monster Cable's lawyer would very likely be hit with sanctions and a gavel for good measure just for using the legal system to bully a smaller business entity.  The mini-golf place could possibly get their legal fees back on the judge's order.  It's not optimal since it wastes everyone's time, but if you don't protect your rights, you'll lose them.  We cannot afford to set bad precedents in cases like this lest we allow entities such as the RIAA, Disney, or other corporate bullies make our rules for us.  It's bad enough we have to have Congress make our laws but at least we elect them.  

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stuboyle

Monster Mini Golf's logo looks a lot like Monster Energy drink's.  It would seem that Monster Energy drink might have a case against Monster Mini Golf.

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Manny_mmg

So our eBay post was mysteriously taken off. Here is the new link;

http://cgi.ebay.com/Buy-a-Monster-Mi...itemZ250336911 645QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash =item250336911645&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkpa rm s=72%3A1205%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240 %3A1318%7C301%3A1%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A50

or

Buy a Monster Mini Golf Coupon, fight Corporate bully! - eBay (item 250337251068 end time Dec-14-08 07:16:15 PST)

If it happens to be taken off again, it can be searched easily by typing bully under the category of “everything else.” We at Monster Mini Golf are very appreciative of your support. I am sure that whoever else was bullied by Monster Cable appreciates this as well. You may also visit this link;Stop the Bully . It is a link to a page on our web site. Again, we can’t thank you enough.

- Manny

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bcweir

The power switch will be shaped like a hand with a middle finger extended.  The hand will sit on a base that overlooks the Monster Cable logo

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dethdeks

i think if any one should sue. monster mini golf it would be monster engergy drinks cause isnt the word monster in the monster mini golf drawn almost eactly same as monsters energy drinks wording? or at least almost the same

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dankers

I'm going to change my name to Maximum Dankers and sue the pants off this magazine. Then I'll be rolling in the dough.

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Keith E. Whisman

Monster Cable don't you make overpriced cables that nobody can afford to buy anymore? And wasn't there a story here on MaxPC.com that Monster Cable was in financial straits? 

So instead of trying to save yourself financially by suing everyone why not just reduce the price of your cables and do what you have to do to lower the costs of production. Howabout reduce the ammount of money your execs spend on frivolous trips to exotic resorts. That seems to be what companies that are down in the dumps seem to be doing now.

 

So go screw off Monster Cable. We don't need you. There is competition out there and don't forget that.

 

Why don't you merge with Rambus and sue everyone for thinking. Why not patent the word Computer and just sue everyone that owns a computer.

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Driversniper108

Monster? Are you kidding me? That's like Nintendo coming out and going after every company that uses "Super" in its name. Hey that's actually not a bad idea. Maybe Nintendo can go after the oil industry for its use of the name "Super Unleaded" on its products. There needs to be like an amendment to the constitution to not allow this type of crap to happen. Trade marking a word should never be allowed. No one should be allowed to take a common, every day word and slap a trademark symbol on it. 

What leaves me scratching my head is why now? Monster has been around since 1978. Why weren't they throwing the flag back when companies first allegedly committed "trademark violations". A lot of the companies on their list haven’t even been around that long.

I'd be really surprised if anything more than a dismissal comes from all this.

 

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winmaster

If monster wins this case, Nintendo should sue everybody who uses the word "Super." Maybe if they had some cash, they could develope a Wii that doesn't overheat in standby mode :-(

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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

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brainwins

This looks like a job for Petey the Don't Sue People Panda.

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arcanus

These are the times where I wish the US used loser pays for consumer suits:

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ShadowGryphon

Damned straight!

Loser pays is long overdue in the US, in my opinion.

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bathtbgin

So how long untill they file law suits against Disney and Pixar for "Monsters Inc"?  Or are they worried that Disney has more lawyers?

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Driversniper108

the list, which includes D&P's "Monster's, Inc.", also has includes some names that really makes you wonder what they were thinking.

Here's a short list from Wikipedia...

Monster Garage (the TV show)
Monster Energy Drink
MonsterHTPC
Snow Monsters (a kid's skiing group)
MonsterVintage (small used clothing store)
Monsters of the Midway (a nickname of the Chicago Bears football team)
Fenway Park's Monster seats
Monster.com

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winmaster

So the energy drink is on the list... 

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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

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dc10ten

and how about the monster energy drink?

 

screw monster cable. there are many company associations to the monster name.

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habuza

If I were a judge I'd just plug the damn plaintiff w/ a .22 caliber between the eyes. It's bullshit like this that causes price hikes and puts good companies out of business. Personally, I say monster cables are CRAP. NO effin way I'd shell out that kind of dough for smoething i can get for 10$ and have equal sound quality.

 Or I'd just throw out the damn case.

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lostcause64

Between this, the Rambus crapola, and the wench that sued McDonald's for spilling hot coffee on herself, it's no wonder I'm in favor of nuclear war...  Like the man said in WarGames, sometimes nature knows when to start over...

John

Try to be smarter than the object you're working with! It will make things easier, and might just save your life...

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