Monster Energy in legal battle with distillery in Virginia over logo
by Phoebe French
A small distillery in Virginia received a 108-page objection to its company logo from energy drinks giant Monster, and despite its size, has vowed to fight back against what it’s calling greedy behaviour and bullying.

Based in Bristow, MurLarkey Distillery, which produces gin, vodka and whiskey, was hit with a legal complaint after it attempted to file a trademark for its logo.

Monster Energy filed the 108-page document with the U.S. Patent Trade Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in May.

Both companies share the letter ‘M’ in their logos, but this is where the similarities end, states MurLarkey.

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Speaking to Fox News, MurLarkey’s Tom Murray said: “Monster has a long history of going after small companies, that’s supported by a simple Google search. I thinks it’s unfortunate that they engage in this kind of business practice”.

A petition started by a supporter of the distillery calling for a boycott of the energy drinks company has now attracted over 4,000 signatures.

The petition states: “Being so big, Monster has money to spend on lawyers to make nuisance lawsuits to smaller companies who just so happen to have their names also start with “M.”

“Can you tell the difference between these two logos? Nobody would confuse them, but still, Monster filed a lawsuit against this beloved local Virginian distillery, and it’s not the only lawsuit they’ve filed against small local businesses. Monster has been relatively brutal in attacking small companies whose logos don’t even remotely look like the Monster “M” as these small companies just don’t have the vast resources to fight back.

“This greedy behaviour does nothing but strip resources from the important local community businesses that offer local jobs and bring money into local communities. Those resources instead make this fat Monster that much fatter, and that doesn’t help any of us.

“Of course what’s most ironic is that Monster isn’t the original company who had an “M” for a logo, we have the golden arches to thank for that…”

MurLarkey, which has been in business for almost three years, sells its products in Virginia, Washington and Maryland.

California-headquartered Monster Energy has taken out 57 such TTAB objections in the past.

In 2016, it challenged a brewery in New Jersey after it attempted to trademark a beer under the name “Beast from the East”.

In 2015, it also took on Bordeaux-based Dassault Wine Estates, part of the Dassault Group, which includes Château Dassault, Château La Fleur and Château Faurie de Souchard, formerly owned by the late French aviation industrialist Serge Dassault. The company, which later withdrew its complaint, claimed that the name would cause confusion with its Monster Assault drink.

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