Monster Vitality defeats rival’s trademark claims over low-sugar power drinks


Monster power drinks sit on show at a Sainsbury’s retailer in London, Britain, August 30, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

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  • Monster’s ‘Reign’ not just like VPX’s ‘Bang’ drinks
  • VPX drinks not eligible for trade-dress safety
  • Choose stated case ‘merely wasn’t shut’

(Reuters) – Monster Vitality defeated rival VPX Sports activities’ claims in Florida federal court docket that Monster ripped off the packaging of VPX’s Bang Vitality drink to make use of for its Reign drinks, in a case U.S. District Choose Roy Altman stated “merely wasn’t shut” after a nine-day bench trial.

Altman, sitting in Fort Lauderdale, discovered on Tuesday that VPX could not show that its Bang cans have been entitled to commerce gown safety and that Monster’s Reign cans weren’t more likely to confuse shoppers regardless.

Monster and its attorneys Steven Nataupsky of Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear and Brian Stack of Stack Fernandez & Harris did not instantly reply to a request for remark, nor did VPX or its lawyer Andrew Schindler of Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani.

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VPX — which makes Bang Vitality, a number one model of no-calorie, sugar-free power drinks — sued Monster in Fort Lauderdale in 2019, alleging its Reign power drinks, which have been launched later that 12 months and are additionally calorie- and sugar-free, copied its commerce gown and have been more likely to trigger client confusion.

Each drinks, VPX stated, use confusingly related components together with black backgrounds with contrasting brightly coloured designs, giant stylized logos and related taglines. It accused Monster of attempting to “shamelessly copy” Bang.

Monster denied the claims and argued, amongst different issues, that Bang Vitality copied components of its authentic 2002 design.

Altman agreed, discovering VPX’s packaging is “merely a refinement of the unique Monster Vitality can,” and that VPX could not present the design was distinctive or acknowledged by shoppers in a approach that might entitle it to trade-dress safety.

VPX additionally tried to recreation the court docket by altering what it stated its alleged trade-dress lined, Altman stated.

Altman additionally stated VPX “opened the trial by revealing a stunning (and fully new) concept: that Monster had stolen the exact colours Bang had utilized in its cans — right down to the final shade — in a craven effort to go its product off as Bang’s.”

“By the tip, although, VPX’s copied-paint concept had been completely debunked — and its case was left in shambles,” Altman stated, noting the cans look completely different and that Monster’s course of for designing Reign “renders implausible” VPX’s declare.

“If Monster have been trying to go Reign off as Bang, it did an exceptionally poor job of it,” Altman stated.

VPX additionally failed to point out Monster’s drink was more likely to trigger confusion with Bang Vitality, Altman stated.

“We now have nearly no proof of confusion. VPX’s precise confusion witnesses have been by no means really confused. And VPX’s survey — which most likely ought to’ve been excluded earlier than trial — was probative of completely nothing,” Altman stated.

The case is VPX Sports activities v. Monster Vitality Co, U.S. District Courtroom for the Southern District of Florida, No. 0:19-cv-60809.

For VPX: Andrew Schindler of Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani

For Monster: Steven Nataupsky of Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear, Brian Stack of Stack Fernandez & Harris

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Blake Brittain

Thomson Reuters

Blake Brittain stories on mental property legislation, together with patents, logos, copyrights and commerce secrets and techniques. Attain him at blake.brittain@thomsonreuters.com



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