Monster Energy Company v. BeastUp LLC, No. 2:17-cv-01605-KJM-JDP, ED of California
After a three-day bench trial in San Francisco for the case Monster Energy Company v. BeastUp LLC, No. 2:17-cv-01605-KJM-JDP, ED of California, Chief U.S. District Judge Mueller found that Monster Energy Company had proven each of its six claims against BeastUp LLC, including trademark infringement and trademark dilution.
Since 2002, Monster Energy’s original Monster Energy drink has displayed both its “Claw Icon” and UNLEASH THE BEAST! marks on the container. BeastUp began selling its BeastUp energy drink in 2014, with its containers displaying the BEASTUP mark and two sets of silver claw or scratch marks.
In its Findings of Facts and Conclusions of Law, the court cited Applied Marketing Science, Inc. (AMS) Founder and Chairman Emeritus Robert Klein’s survey as providing evidence of both likelihood of confusion and trademark dilution. Klein frequently serves as an expert witness in Lanham Act and other cases.
The survey evidence presented by Klein showed that the Monster Energy and BeastUp marks are similar. Klein’s survey found that 27.9 percent of respondents believed the BeastUp energy drink was put out by or associated with Monster. In response to open-ended survey questions, many respondents specifically pointed out similarities between Monster’s marks and the BeastUp Logo, Scratch Marks, and name. BeastUp did not rebut this testimony nor the survey.
The court ordered BeastUp’s trademark be cancelled and permanently enjoined BeastUp from use of any marks in connection with any beverage products that are likely to cause confusion or dilution of Monster’s marks. These included the scratch marks on the cans, the BeastUp name, and any other Beast-containing marks.
Monster Energy was represented by Knobbe Martens.
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