In the battle of the monsters, the UK Intellectual Property Office has made a decision in favour of the energy drink opposer.
The application in question was filed by Frito-Lay, who are the producers of Monster Munch crisps. They attempted to protect the words ‘Monster Munch’ in respect of the goods in class 29 and 30. These classes cover many foodstuffs, including snacks and confectionary.
Monster Energy, the owner of many Monster trade marks to cover their energy drink products, filed an opposition against this application, specifically in respect of “yoghurt; nut-based food bars; cereal based food bars; snack bars…”.
Monster Energy claimed that the application would cause a likelihood of confusion with their registered trade marks which include dairy based beverages in its class specification.
Frito-Lay tried to fight back with evidence, however surprisingly while Monster Munch is a widely well known crisp brand in existence since 1977, the company could not provide sufficient evidence to cover the other goods, namely the dairy goods, and therefore could not prove a high level of distinctive character.
Due to this and the similarity in goods, the Office deemed there a risk of indirect confusion and therefore awarded in favour of Monster Energy.
Not only is Frito-Lay’s application refused, they have been ordered to pay Monster Energy £1600.00.
There is an opportunity for the decision to be appealed, so watch this space!!