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Originally posted 2014-10-16 11:00:18.
By Chloe Coska | amdlawgroup.com
Missoula small business and the giant soft drink company in the middle of a trademark battle regarding their energy drinks products. The Missoula is accused by the Monster energy drink company of trademark infringement. Monster sent on September 10, according to the court document, a letter demanding Victory to stop selling its products disclose Victory’s sales of all products bearing the disputed logo, and pay for attorney’s fees incurred, among other stipulations.
In dispute is the Missoula business bottle which is a black bottle with a green logo “V” on the front is almost liquid in its appearance. The bottle allegedly demonstrating a similar design to the Monster design, which has similar color combination but instead has a “M” in gothic lettering.
Victory bottle is sold 99 cents in 11 states where its competitor is sold $2 for the similar amount. Monster energy company could have considered this as unfair competition and a possibility of confusion and attack the other firm.
Victory, less than a week after receiving the letter, filed a complaint for declaratory judgment at the Missoula US District court. The company is seeking an award of costs and attorneys’ fees or for “any other relief that the court may deem just and proper” for attempting to stymie Victory’s business.
According to Victory”s attorney Robert C. Lukes, Monster energy company practices is to try to put pressure to small company by “ trademark bullying”. Also according to Victory”s attorney, in the case of trademark infringement, one of the most important factors is the name. The attorney added that even if the “Even if some of the colors are similar and the names are different, it’s unlikely that consumers would be confused”.
Regarding the Victory’s attorney statement, it is difficult to consider whether the logo design are similar or not, what really matter is whether a lay person, consumer would think of monster energy drinks while looking at the Victory bottle.
We will monitor the result of this case closely, as the notion of “confusion” is interpreted in various way by the courts.