Monster Energy Co., a publicly traded company and a bona fide corporate bully, believes it is “good business” to use shareholder money to go after any business, large or small, which uses the 14th century words “monster” or “beast” in any way, shape, form, or context.
Breyting Community Roaster, a small Florida roastery is fighting back against legal threats made by Monster Energy Co., blasting the drink maker for using “dubious” trademark claims to establish an “anticompetitive monopoly” on the commonly used word “monster.” The roastery launched a coffee blend this year called “Fred Schneider’s Monster Blend,” in collaboration with B52s frontman Fred Schneider. The coffee blend’s moniker is an homage to Fred’s 1984 banned MTV song “Monster,” which predates the radioactive-green energy drink company by a few decades.
“News of the cease and desist from Monster Energy Co. has spread like wildfire, You would think a UFO landed in my front yard with the amount of phone calls I’ve been getting,” reports Ric Coven, founder of Breyting Community Roaster and long time friend of Fred Schneider. “People are outraged that this corporation feels it can tell an artist like Fred that he can’t use his own lyric. Monster Energy Co. should be ashamed of themselves trying to co-opt a word that clearly belongs to everyone. I believe the incredibly powerful response is because people are sick and tired of large corporate monsters robbing the creative freedom of artists. But to attack a beloved celebrity who also brought us hits such as “Love Shack” and “Rock Lobster” ….. that’s just …. clearly someone has a case of monster envy.”
Coven has dealt with unscrupulous businessmen before who use lawsuits to bully their way into power & influence instead of using their brains to build honest businesses built around ethics. “Monster Energy Co.’s empire-building tactics are aimed at destroying honest folks’ livelihoods and artistic creativity. We are just one in a long line of independent companies to receive threats like this & we aren’t afraid to take a stand against corporate bullying.”
CALL TO ACTION: Breyting Community Roaster is rallying all founders, independent businesses, artists, and innovators ever bullied by Monster Energy Co. to stand together as a community and fight back against litigation abuse. From now till October 31st Breyting Community Roaster is donating all the profits from its website sales at www.communityroaster.com to help fund a legal defense for those affected. Too often, trademark, copyright, and patent bullies initiate meritless lawsuits, counting on their victims not having the resources to defend themselves. Too many small businesses fall victim to these tactics, surrendering their property, not because they are in the wrong, but because they simply cannot afford to tangle with the beast. By providing access to representation for victims of these bullies, we can change the power differential between large and small ventures, and help rebalance the scales of justice.
A portion of the profits will support Bricolage Law, LLC ( HYPERLINK “http://www.bricolagelaw.com” www.bricolagelaw.com), a flat-fee law firm created this year by Eve J. Brown and Paul F. Nagy specifically to empower independent businesses and slay IP bullies. Eve and her team have made it their mission to combat litigation abuse and to level the playing field for small ventures. They have already succeeded in defending numerous small businesses in David vs. Goliath battles with corporate giants, including Monster Energy Co. v. Monsterfishkeepers, in which Monster Energy tried to argue that consumers couldn’t distinguish energy drinks from pet cichlids, and Nautica Apparel v. Christine Palmerton, in which Nautica tried to put Palmerton, an independent business owner in Seattle, out of business for incorporating the generic prefix “NAUTI” into her own creative logo.
Bricolage, which is defined as “leveraging the resources at hand to affect positive, systemic change” is also representing Thunder Beast, a DC-based craft root beer company currently being challenged by Monster Energy over the use of the word “beast.” Bricolage has already made a dent, but this is only the beginning. Bricolage’s attorneys have chosen, like so many of you, to forego large profits in favor of doing work they believe in. Your support will allow them to reach even more small businesses in need.
We’ve started a petition on Change.org to bring this important issue to the attention of Monster Energy’s shareholders and Coke, which is a shareholder and distributor for Monster Energy Co.
We may be small, but together, we can make a big difference. Follow our progress or join the movement at: https://www.facebook.com/bcroaster