Confusion?… We don’t need no stinkin’ confusion!

by Jason Fischer (follow me on twitter)

The Wall Street Journal published a story about how Monster Cable was trying to bully the owners of a mom-and-pop business into changing their name. According to David Tognotti, Monster Cable’s general manager and an attorney, the company considers “Monster” a famous mark — on a par with Barbie dolls or Camel cigarettes, giving them the right to prevent an indoor mini golf establishment from calling itself “Monster Mini Golf.” (I guess Mr. Tognotti’s IP professor didn’t fill him in on how much success Mattel has had keeping people from using its “Barbie” trademark. See here and here.) He even cites to “McCarthy on Trademarks” as his authority. However, WSJ interviewed Professor McCarthy, who pointed out that federal courts get to decide which marks are famous, not general managers of stereo cable manufacturers.

Other ridiculous enforcement efforts, pursued by Monster Cable:

3 Responses to Confusion?… We don’t need no stinkin’ confusion!

  1. Although a smaller company, Monster Cable tried to do the same to Monster Deer Block (a deer salt-lick), a product of Denco, an ethanol producer in Morris, Minn.

  2. KWW says:

    Monster Cable is famous for this bullying. There’s apparently a wide chasm between diligently policing one’s trademarks and just providing job security for the corporate IP attorneys, and Monster Cable jumped that chasm with a monster truck. They aren’t the only ones though. For those uncreative business owners who try to name their business “[insert product here] R Us,” be prepared to receive a cease and desist letter from Toys R’ Us.

  3. Mike says:

    Don’t Forget Monster Transmission, another story that came out AFTER you posted this entry:

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