Monster Mini Golf Using eBay To Fight Monster Cable's Trademark Lawsuit

Dec 3, 2008 Full story: Techdirt 7

Monster Cable is famously litigious over its trademark -- suing just about anyone who uses the name "Monster" as a part of their corporate offering.

Full Story
Steph

Salinas, CA

#1 Dec 11, 2008
On Behalf of Noel Lee, the founder of Monster Cable.
I am aware of your concerns regarding the lawsuit that we filed against Monster Mini Golf, a Rhode Island-based company that franchises miniature golf establishments across the U.S.(currently 24 locations). Suffice to say we take this lawsuit very seriously and filed only as a necessary measure to protect our established trademark rights.
Regardless of what false representations have been circulated about Monster, we are not a faceless corporate giant out to squash legitimate business concerns and rising entrepreneurs. We are in fact, a family-owned company that relies heavily on our brand name and reputation in order to continue serving our customers. We have always tried to provide our customers with the highest performance products at an affordable price. While we are best known for our cable products, we also manufacture high performance accessories in business areas ranging in home theater, computing, gaming, portable entertainment and power management. To protect these business areas, we have sought and been awarded trademarks for each respective category. In addition to the areas above, in the past 30 years, we have also expanded the categories including sports and other lifestyle ventures. According to the trademark law, we must enforce our marks or we will lose them and they will become generic.
We were trying our best to avoid the lawsuit, and we are trying our best to settle the lawsuit.
We appreciate your viewpoints and hope you will review the attached documents to fully understand the facts before making judgments against myself or my company.
http://www.monstercable.com/monster_truth

Monsterously,
Noel Lee
nlee@monstercable.com
Merrick

Cumberland, RI

#2 Dec 11, 2008
Really? I mean really? Following that logic I should start a law firm and sue anyone with the same name. Are you trying to embarrass yourselves? Look around the web. Even before this monster mini golf thing. It is all negative. You are hurting yourselves and dragging others down with you. I have no idea what position you hold in the company but I hope it is worth he embarrassment and is enough to not worry about any moral code. Good day!
pangritt

Salinas, CA

#3 Dec 12, 2008
On Behalf of Noel Lee, Found of Monster Cable
Some perspective for you on your comments. Apple, EBay, Amazon, Virgin, Dial Soap, or Tide detergent have trade names. These companies vehemently enforce their marks as required by the Patent and Trademark office, or they will lose all rights to their marks, just as we would if we did not enforce them. That’s the trademark law.
We have been building our Monster marks beginning in 1978 when there were no Monster trademarks except for Cookie Monster. It took a long 30 years to get to the number of Monster trademarks that have been awarded to us. We have built up many Monster marks and have invested a lot of money in building the brand in motor sports, gaming, and other related businesses. We also have Monster Game, which far predates the Monster Mini Golf filing in the entertainment category.
Mini Golf has also filed for the “Monster” stand alone trademark that we already own in many classes. So it’s not mini golf vs. cable, it’s their trying to use the Monster mark while we already own it. We consider our Monster mark a “famous mark” and as such, can be diluted with other people using it, just as those companies mentioned above.
If they were a small family owned business, that would not bother us because the dilution is minimal. Monster Mini Golf is a franchise business that goes across 10 states, fully intentioned to go national.
Unlike us, where we have trademarks awarded to us by the patent and trademark office, they are licensing to their franchises a trademark that was never granted to them. They should at least wait until the trademark office examines their application, and looks at ours, and it is the trademark office that should decide. Visit our web site at http://www.monstercable.com/monster_truth for complete information about this issue.
By the way, we are also a family owned business. I would not consider us a huge company as we only have 500 employees. Look us up, and feel free to contact me by email. Please put in the subject line Reply to Noel so I can easily recognize it.
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. It allow me the opportunity to express our viewpoint with you.
Monsterously,
Noel
The Head Monster
truth@monstercable.com
Pete

San Francisco, CA

#4 Dec 14, 2008
Public Proposal to Monster Mini Golf

The internet has changed how companies like us can defend our brand and prevent the dilution of our trademarks by those who choose to infringe on them. By appealing to consumers’ emotions using mis-information and distorted truths has created a different dynamic to patent and trademark protection. The sentiment of our customers wins over our rights to protect the brand. Monster Mini Golf is attempting to trademark “Monster”, Monster Mini Golf, and Monster Entertainment in areas that we already own, so we had no choice to file a lawsuit, or otherwise suffer dilution of our mark and potential loss of the mark itself.

We have been wrongly portrayed as a company focused on squashing small business, when the opposite is true. We are also a small business, and have survived for 30 years. This lawsuit admittedly has caused so much misguided ill will amongst our customers, that we have no choice but to give up on it, and along with it our rights to have a judge or jury decide this conflict.

So we are publicly declaring;

1) Monster has filed papers with the Federal Court to dismiss the lawsuit against Monster Mini Golf as of Friday, December 12, 2009. We will let the trademark office decide when they review their trademark application.

2) Monster will still owns the trademarks granted by the trademark office for which we offer a license for the use of them to Monster Mini Golf for a minimal royalty of $100 per month per franchise. Monster (us) will donate and match the royalty proceeds to the following charities that Monster has supported.

The Elf foundation; Creating Rooms of Magic:
http://www.elfsystems.org/partners.html

Seg4Vets: Segways for disabled veterans
http://www.draft.cc/draft3/Donations/Benefact...

Monster Mini Golf will then have the ability to use and franchise the “monster” trademark and continue with their business, and we will have continued protection. This will save thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees and the court’s time. Everyone wins.

This lawsuit was never about the money, our requests were always minimal. It’s about the protection of our trademarks.

For all of those who have supported us during this attack on our integrity, we thank you for your support. We apologize to everyone who may have been affected by our lawsuit with Monster Mini-Golf. We apologize to our loyal customers who may have been negatively impacted and to our retailers whose customers may have been affected by mis-information.

For 30 years, we have prided ourselves on making the highest performance products in everything that we do. We have millions of happy customers. We will just keep producing the great high quality products for all to enjoy.

Noel Lee
The Head Monster
Founder and Owner of Monster
http://www.monstercable.com/monster_truth
Mike

Salt Lake City, UT

#5 Dec 17, 2008
It used to be that the USPTO wouldn't grant trademarks on words in the English language. Not even trademarks on Rubber Made, or Minute Made - they had to use "Maid" in order to get a valid trademark.

It's obvious that Monster Cable is trying to own an English word outright, but it's mostly the fault of the USPTO for giving corporations pieces of OUR LANGUAGE. Corporatocracy wasn't the original intent of patent and trademark law, it was to promote the progress of science and useful arts, not kill the competition
sirsemtex

Hamden, CT

#7 Dec 20, 2008
MMG is reportedly going to the CES 09 (consumer electronics show) armed with some serious ammo against MC. I want to see this

"that is aaawwwwwwesome."
sirsemtex

Meriden, CT

#8 Dec 27, 2008
For anyone who puked after watching Noel Lee's you tube video response to the mini-golf case:



Noel Lee gets 'Chucked'

I think the 'i'm so lonely' part is farggin hilarious. and SO true.

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