This is the second lawsuit filed by an energy drink company in a week!
The Plaintiff, Monster Energy Company, brings this lawsuit after several years of unsuccessful direct communications with the Defendant attempting to seek voluntary compliance with their asserted trademark rights.
Anybody who’s been to a gas station or watched the X Games will recognize the Monster “Claw Icon” logo, an “M-shaped claw design with jagged or irregular contours designed to evoke a claw having torn through the can or other material.” The Complaint (below) claims that Monster brand drinks are the best-selling energy drink in the United States. In October 2020, Monster was named the 4th Most Marketed Brand in Sports.
The Defendant, Bear KompleX, sells fitness equipment such as hand grips, weight belts, compression sleeves, and weight belts. They utilize a “Bear Claw” logo (not the donut) which looks like a slash (not the rocker) from a five-fingered bear paw. Bear KompleX’s logo often appears in various colors, including sometimes green and black.
Monster first contacted Bear KompleX in August 2019 demanding that they stop selling a “Grip, Calicure, & Doc Spartan Monster Bundle.” Later that month, Monster sent another letter warning Bear KompleX not to use a green claw mark. The Defendant apparently responded over the subsequent year by expanding its product offerings bearing a green claw mark, seemingly taunting Monster to take legal action.
That legal action has now been taken by Monster, and I’ll be looking forward to seeing Bear KompleX’s Answer. The Complaint asserts only a likelihood of confusion and no actual instances of confusion, so we can expect the Defendant to argue against any likelihood of confusion. They can point to differences between the logos, such as the Bear KompleX logo having five slashes, versus Monster’s three, and their bear claw facing upward rather than downward.
Stay tuned for updates.
Monster Energy Company v. R&R Medical, LLC d/b/a Bear KompleX
Case Number: 2:21-cv-00179-PPS-JPK
File Date: Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Plaintiff: Monster Energy Corporation
Plaintiff Counsel: James W. Riley, Jr., Jaclyn M. Flint of Riley Bennett Egloff LLP
Defendant: R&R Medical d/b/a Bear KompleX
Cause: Trademark Infringement, Trade Dress Infringement, False Designation of Origin, Federal Dilution, State Unfair Competition
Court: Northern District of Indiana
Judge: Philip P. Simon
Referred To: Joshua P. Kolar