Monster Beverage tried to stop Ubisoft from trademarking the name “Gods & Monsters” earlier this year to prevent confusion between its brand of highly caffeinated sodas and the upcoming action adventure game. It turns out this is the sort of thing Monster does a lot.
Monster routinely challenges “monster”-related trademarks, including, tactical gear, ice cream, and dog treats.
The news about Gods & Monsters, which Ubisoft announced earlier this month had been renamed Immortals: Fenyx Rising, was first reported by TechRaptor based on publicly available filings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In a 186-page filing dated April 3, Monster argued in part that the Gods & Monsters name would conflict with its own because of the drink company’s involvement in sponsoring esports teams, tournaments, as well as actual video games. Surely you’ve heard of Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Videogame?
“[Monster] has built up, at great expense and effort, valuable goodwill in its MONSTER Marks and has developed strong common law rights in its MONSTER Marks,” the company wrote. Ubisoft responded a month later with a much briefer eight-page filing denying Monster’s claims.
The publisher has also claimed that the name change from Gods & Monsters to the inscrutable Immortals: Fenyx Rising was entirely its own idea. “The change of name was entirely because of the vision of the game,” game director Julien Galloudec told VGC in an interview last week. He went on:
The game changed a lot, to the point where we felt we needed a new name to be better aligned with that updated vision, so that’s where we decided to change to Immortals Fenyx Rising, a name that combines the notion of the timeless aspect of the Greek mythology with the immortals. And also I like the new era, Fenyx, and adjoining that epic adventure.
Ubisoft did not respond to a request for comment.
A quick search on the Trademark Office website reveals 25 current pending notices of opposition to other companies using the name “Monster.” The cases range from disputes with other food and beverage companies to seemingly completely unrelated businesses like toy manufacturers.
For example, Monster took issue with Nikko Toys’ line of remote control Mega Monster trucks because it, too, has at one time or another plastered its logo on the sides of toy cars. The company even went after someone trying to sell dog treats called “Monster Bully Sticks,” to which the maker of those dog treats basically responded that it is unlikely anyone would confuse a giant beef tendon for dogs to chew on with a can of Monster Energy.
The brand’s tagline is “Unleash the Beast.” A more appropriate one might be, “Unleash the lawyers.”
Monster declined to comment.