Monster Cable Responds - A Message from Noel Lee
Noel Lee, CEO of Monster Cable Products has issued an official response regarding recent negative publicity related to trademark issues and corporate usage of the word "Monster".The following statement was sent to us directly from their legal department and we were issued permission to reprint it. - Audioholics
There have been alot of rumors, misinformation,and false accusations spread on the web about Monster Cable and its trademark and brand protection efforts.We have been wrongfully accused of suing any company using the "Monster" name,and as being a"corporate bully."
Anyone who knows our company, or me personally, knows that we are not that kind of company,and I am not that kind of person. The information out there is categorically untrue.
Being a champion of the entrepreneur,and having started Monster in a garage with no money myself, I would be the last person to want to stop someone who had a legitimate right to use a trade name for their business. Those who know me and have met me, know that we have built a fantastic company from nothing through sheer hard work and a lot of sweat equity. You can check out our story at: http://monstercable.com/company_info/ and http://www.monsterparksf.com/info/WhoIsMonster.asp
I have even spoken at several colleges about how to become an entrepreneur,and value these opportunities. In fact, my parents were on one of the last boats out of China during its civil war.I truly have lived the American dream,and I am not going to prevent others from achieving it. I feel fortunate to have been born an American.
Some of the negative press you have read may have started with some newspaper articles that have mistaken information in them, or others who have found this opportunity to spread negative press for their own agendas.
Snow Monsters mistakenly portrayed that our objection to their attempt to register trademarks was a lawsuit, which isn't true.We have not sued Snow Monsters.We would never try to harm a company whose focus is on ski education programs and products for children.
In fact, Monster is a big supporter of programs for children.You can see what we have recently done with kids at MonsterPark. http://www.monsterparksf.com/fun/Photos.asp .The videos with Yomi Agunbiade, director of Recreation and Parks, that is up on our web site shows our compassion for kids at the opening of MonsterPark. http://www.monsterparksf.com/fun/Movies.asp?MovieName=MCP04tailgate_12MB
Before you form any negative impressions of my company or how I have directed it, permit me to straighten out some of the misconceptions.
1) We do not have any trademark infringement lawsuits pending,and we do not object or take action against businesses just because they sell products that have "Monster" in their names. If we did, we would never be able to run our business, not to mention the financial burden would crush us. We have better things to do than spend this kind of money and time.
2) There are over 1,100 registered "Monster" trademarks in the U.S.Patent and Trademark office,and probably hundreds more that are unregistered. We don't have any intention of suing them or taking any action against them. These marks have been allowed by the Trademark Office, just as our 50+ marks in the various classes listed below.
3)We have not sued or filed actions against the hundreds of companies that are using the word Monster.So if anyone is representing this to you, they are not right and should be corrected.
What I think has happened, is people are misinterpreting the U.S.Patent and Trademark office's database.When you do a search on the USPTO database for Monster, it brings up a bunch of records dating back to 1983; like a Google search does.It appears people are seeing the search results and assuming they are lawsuits.They are not lawsuits. In fact, most of the search results are duplicate listings or merely requests for 60 day extensions (which allow us to do further investigation to see if there are any potential conflicts).The database shows Monster has opposed about 80 trademarks over the last twenty years.That's about 4 trademark oppositions a year, which isn't very many for a company that has over 50+ Monster trademarks and is af amous brand.
Don't just take my word for it, please search the database for yourself.
(Click on the linksand you will see the words "Extension of Time" on many of them).
http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?qt=adv & pno= & qs=Monster+Cable+Products%2C+Inc. & propno= & propnameop= & propname= & pop= & pn= & pop2= & pn2= & cop= & cn =
4) Trademark registrations and trademark oppositions are decided by the U.S.Patent and Trademark Office, not us. Even if we do object to a particular filing to register a trademark, it is the Trademark office that determines if the business or person filing for the trademark registration is entitled to it, NOT US.
5) Our examination and investigation of businesses filing trademarks with our name Monster is normal processes forany company having a trademark that they want to protect.We know we don't own the word Monster; however like any other trademark holder we do have the right and need to protect our Monster brand when it is in danger of being diluted, tarnished, or infringed.
6) The federal trademark law says that we are required to police our marks and enforce them or we will lose them, or risk weakening them.We didn't make these rules.Congress and years of Supreme Court rulings have determined the rules of the game. This type of protection is authorized by federal and state statutes (referred to as anti-dilution laws) designed to prevent the weakening of a famous mark's reputation.For more information, you may want to check out: Nolo Press ( http://www.nolo.com/lawcenter/ency/article.cfm/ObjectID/E24CD50D-14DE-4364-AC615684D93E6CBE/catID/D8932879-DC34-43DF-BF65FC92D55FEE5D#18C5EF1D-16AD-4F2A-B7EF7D691972BE58 )
7) Anyone can use a trademark without having the trademark registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, as long as it doesn't infringe or dilute someone else's trademark.This is referred to as a common law trademark.There are many trademarks that exist under common law rights.
In the case of Snow Monsters, we have NEVER sued them,and we are not trying to harm their company. I think that their products are great and don't cause us any problems, I have written them and told them so.They are also using the word "monster" for characters, not as a brand, which is how we use Monster.Please, see the list of our trademarks below that I have provided for you.
8) I hate frivolous lawsuits as much as the next person,and would never engage in a lawsuit that was frivolous.They are a waste of the public's money,and the time of the parties involved.In fact, the courts do not allow "frivolous" lawsuits to proceed.The courts have procedural safeguards to eliminate frivolous lawsuits,as well as penalties (like Rule 11) that can be levied against attorneys and parties who bring such suits.We have never been accused by a court of filing frivolous lawsuits.
9) The newspaper articles and other rumors that said we sued the Chicago Bears, Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park, or a Cajun restaurant are all untrue. We have NEVER filed any lawsuits or other actions against them.Don't just take our word for it, do a search of the court records,and the USPTO database,and we can guarantee that you will find that we have not sued (or even filed trademark oppositions)against these companies.
10) There are millions of Monster fans who love our company and love our products. My passion for the products and unrelenting drive to innovate and create the highest quality products is well known in the industry and with consumers.Where most companies find out how to take quality out of something to reduce costs, we find how we can "improve" products and make them the best of class. That's why our customers love Monster products.
I am very sad indeed to see misinformation out there as it wrongfully portrays the company to be a corporate bully, when nothing could be further from the truth.
If anyone wants to talk with me about this, or if this email does not answer your questions, please email me at [email protected] Although I may not get back to you immediately since I am currently on travel, I will get back to you.
In the meantime, I ask everyone not to prejudge until you know all of the facts.
Hope this clears things up for you. We merely want to protect the trademarks that it has taken me 25 years of hard work to build.
If anyone else is under a wrong impression about our intention otherwise, please feel free to pass this on.
The Head Monster
Monster Web Site
Here is the list of our registered Monster trademarks.We have many more that are pending registration.
Class 6:Electronic Cablesand Wires
Class 9: Consumer Electronics
In class 9 we have the following registered trademarks, some which date backas faras 1978:
Monster Car Audio
Monster Home Theatre
Monster Wire America
Class 16:Consumer Electronics
Class 18:Leather Bagsand Apparel
Class 25:Clothingand Apparel
In Class 25, we have the following registered trademarks, some which date back over 15 years:
I Am A Monster
Class 35:Advertisingand Marketing Services
Class 36:Financial Services
Class 41:Entertainment,Educationaland Training Services
Class 42:Researchand Development Services