Webmasters Note: This space will now (from
May, 2009 forward) be called The BAS Message, since it may be written by someone
other than the President of the BAS. Barry
1. "The Scariest Monster
of All Sues for Trademark Infringement"
When Christina and Patrick Vitagliano dreamed up their Monster
Mini Golf franchises--18-hole, indoor putting greens straddled by glow-in-the-dark
statues of ghouls and gargolyles--they never imagined that a California maker
of high-end audio cables would object.
But Monster Cable Products Inc., which holds more than 70
trademarks on the word monster, challenged the Vitaglianos' tradmark applications.
It filed a federal lawsuit against their company in California and demanded the
Rhode Island couple surrender the name and pay at least $80,000 for the right
to use it. Since it was granted its first "Monster" trademark in 1980
the company has fought more monsters than Godzilla did. It has gone after purveyors
of monster-branded auto transmissions, slot machines, glue, carpet-cleaning machines
and an energy drink, as well as a woman who sells "Junk Food Monster"
kids' T-shirts that promote good eating habits. It sued Walt disney over products
tied to the film "Monster Inc." and opposed the Boston Red Sox trademark
applications for seats and hot dogs named for the Green Monster, the legendary
left-field wall in Fenway Park.
"Monster Cables's practice of suing anyone using the
word 'Monster' in their name is nothing short of playground bullying," says
Robert Holloway, a computer contractor in Iowa who set up a Web site called monstercablebully.com
to support the Vitaglianos.
After receiving at least 200 angry consumer complaints, Monster
Cable's Noel Lee decided to drop the lawsuit and pay up to $200,000 of their legal
expenses. WSJ 4Ap09
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