Monsta win in Monster dispute

A pizza firm has won a landmark ruling against an energy drinks manufacturer in a trademark dispute at the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO).

Monsta Pizza of Wendover in Buckinghamshire fought a claim brought by Monster Energy, who objected to the pizza restaurant’s trademark registration for the term ‘Monsta’.

Monster Energy claimed the pizza firm could be mistaken for it, leaving consumers confused. They claimed the ‘Monsta’ element of the trademark is the dominant section and the word pizza is not distinctive.

They also argued that the goods are sold to the same consumers in the same premises with similar trade channels.

“The goods are sold to the same consumers in the same premises, made by the same manufacturers and the trade channels are similar,” it claimed.

However, in a ruling, George Salthouse, Hearing Officer for the Registrar of the UK Intellectual Property Office ruled that Monster had failed in their attempt to prevent Monsta using its name.

Chris Dominey, 38, who co-founded pizzeria Monsta last year, said: “I think it is a victory for common sense, all the way through it I thought this can’t be right.

“When we originally went to register the trademark we thought it was a mistake, something which had been picked up by a computer automatically.

“We really like our name, it perfectly encompasses what we do, and our customers like it too.”

Salthouse ordered Monster Energy to pay £2,100 to cover Monsta’s legal costs.

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Maung Aye
Maung is a partner in our Corporate and Commercial department. He joined Mackrell Turner Garrett following corporate law positions in London and in a leading regional firm in Essex. Maung read European Legal Studies at Lancaster University and the Università degli Studi di Trento and is a fluent Italian speaker.