Monster Energy Company Sues Monster Dollar for Trademark Infringement

On Wednesday, Monster Energy Company filed a complaint in the Western District of Washington against Pelmir Enterprise Inc. alleging trademark infringement. 

According to the complaint, Pelmir Enterprise Inc., is a Washington corporation that owns and operates a retail store under the name Monster Dollar and an associated website and social media profile. Additionally, the complaint states that Monster Energy is a Delaware Corporation with a principal place of Business in California and is a national leader in the business of developing, marketing, selling, and distributing beverages, having sold more than 40 billion cans of its Monster drinks worldwide. 

Monster states that it has achieved extensive exposure and widespread recognition of its Monster Brand through sponsorships and advertising. Monster purports that it has been using the Monster trademark in commerce since the launch of its now-famous Monster Energy drink brand in 2002. The complaint states that since then, Monster has acquired numerous other common law trademarks associated with the Monster brand and has registered 26 trademarks that incorporate its famous Monster or Monster Energy trademarks. 

Further, Monster alleges that it has used and licensed its Monster trademarks in connection with a wide-variety of products and services, including apparel and accessories, stickers and decals, retail services, restaurant services, advertising, and promotion of goods and services in the sports and fitness industries. In addition to the Monster trademarks and brand, Monster argues that it has devoted extensive time and resources to protect the Monster and Monster Energy trade dress. 

Monster Energy states that the defendant is infringing on its trademark rights by using a trademark and trade dress that is confusingly similar to Monster’s marks and trade dress. The complaint asserts that on August 19, 2020 the defendant filed an application with the USPTO to register the trademark “Monster Dollar” in connection with gloves, hats, pants, shirts, socks, cap visors and polo shirts. Further,the complaint contends that the defendants use of the term Monster and the colors green and white, which is extremely similar to the plaintiff’s trade dress, is likely to cause consumer confusion between the two parties’ marks. 

Accordingly, on May 18, 2021, Monster filed an opposition with the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board opposing the registration of the Monster Dollar mark. The complaint states that on August 17, 2021 the Board entered judgment in favor of Monster because it had not received a response from the defendant. 

Monster argues that in the months following the Board’s decision the defendant willfully continued to infringe on Monster Energy’s trademarks. Subsequently, Monster sent the defendant cease-and-desist letters on September 22, 2021, October 14, 2021 and January 24, 2022, but has yet to receive a response. 

Monster Energy therefore filed the present suit seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, disgorgement of profits, consequential and treble damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney’s fees and costs for the defendant’s trademark and trade dress infringement and violation of Washington’s Unfair Competition Law. The plaintiff is represented by Knobbe, Martens, Olson & Bear, LLP