Last night I read a story on WSJ.com (may require subscription?) about the company, Monster Cables, and their practice of suing anyone who uses the word “Monster” in their business name or product.
In general, I lean toward a company’s right to protect the value of their name. I agree that If the name causes confusion in the marketplace, then that use should be contested.
However it seems Monster’s take on this is We used it first, anyone who wants to be a monster, pay up.
They’ve sued the Red Sox over names related to the “the Green Monster,” the TV show “Monster Garage,” but the one that was featured in the WSJ piece, and shows that this may be more of a revenue generator for them, was their lawsuit over the Rhode Island company Monster Mini Golf.
I chuckled at this one, about a clothing store…
Occasionally, Monster Cable has retreated. After it sued MonsterVintage LLC, an online used-clothing store based in Oregon, owner Victor Petrucci says he drove a rented truck to Monster Cable’s headquarters and around San Francisco for two weeks. It was emblazoned with a giant sign that read in part, “Monster Cable S-.” Monster Cable dropped the lawsuit.
“We have to balance what we do legally to protect our mark with that of public opinion,” says Mr. Lee [Monster Cable’s CEO], adding, “We’re very sensitive to our reputation.”
As for the mini-golf drama, the lawsuit was finally dropped, but not before the mini-golf owners, had spent 100k on legal fees before Monster dropped the suit.
Have you used Monster Cables, will you begin/continue to use them, or has this turned you off to them?
Also, if you have used them or other high-end cables, are they a worthwhile purchase?