Trademarks are important assets and image representations of companies. VPX Sports/Bang Energy (“Bang”), the maker of the popular BANG® energy drink and owner of the rights to the REIGN® trademark, recently filed suit against Monster Energy Co. (“Monster”), which is known for its Over-litigiousness and “scorched-earth” approach to any competitive threat, and Monster’s spinoff company, Reign Beverage Co., over Monster’s recently-launched knockoff REIGN energy drink.
Trademarks are an important condition for consumers to identify goods. Products with similar trademarks are easy to mislead consumers. As plainly evident, the knockoff version of REIGN is nearly identical and confusingly similar to VPX’s own aesthetically appealing and distinctive BANG® trade dress.
In addition, Monster has pirated the phrase “body fuel” from Bang’s trademarked tagline, “Potent Brain and Body Fuel™“; has pirated the same unique term for branched-chain amino acids (“BCAAs”) coined and prominently displayed on Bang’s own packaging as “BCAA AMINOS”; and has infringed on Bang’s rights in the registered REIGN® trademark, for which Bang is the exclusive licensee.
Moreover, Monster’s damage control “statement” about this lawsuit is as shameless, flawed, and unimaginative as its knockoff REIGN product.
First, Monster’s interpretation of U.S. trademark law is entirely inaccurate.
Bang’s dietary supplement goods bearing its registered REIGN® trademark need not be registered in the same class for the same exact goods as Monster’s REIGN energy drink to create a likelihood of confusion under U.S. trademark law. The respective goods need only be complementary or related. Dietary supplements, including dietary supplement drinks, and energy or sports drinks are consistently considered related goods under settled trademark law.
Second, Monster’s excerpted quote from a scheduling order (on an administrative motion to stay or extend a filing deadline) in a separate, frivolous lawsuit filed by Monster has no bearing whatsoever on the merits of any substantive issue in that suit or this one.
In fact, to date, the only substantive event in Monster’s lawsuit is the disqualification of Monster’s attorneys and the law firm, Shook, Hardy & Bacon.
Similarly, to date, the only substantive event in the referenced class action false advertising lawsuits, which are merely copycat versions of Monster’s pending lawsuit, is the dismissal of one of those related cases.
Notably, none of the frivolous lawsuits that Monster has brought or instigated against VPX over the past decade have resulted in anything other than dismissal.
Third, and lastly, Monster’s silence regarding its trade dress infringement speaks louder than words.
Monster conveniently ignores its confusingly similar REIGN knockoff because it is indefensible. Indeed, the foregoing comparison between Bang’s energy drink and Monster’s knockoff version is worth a thousand words and speaks for itself.
“There is a 40-foot blue whale called REIGN® energy drink flopping around the living room that Monster tries to ignore. But this REIGN® whale cannot be ignored, because it is perhaps one of the most egregious examples of intellectual property infringement that consumers—and now the courts—have likely seen in the past decade!”
— Jack Owoc, Bang Energy CEO
VPX’s Complaint for Damages and Injunctive Relief, filed on March 28, 2019, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, can be found here. The Order disqualifying Monster’s attorneys in its pending frivolous lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California can be found here. And, the Notification of Docket Entry reflecting the dismissal of the copycat consumer class action lawsuit instigated by Monster in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Illinois can be found here.
Here are what the top financial beverage analysts and industry insiders are saying about Bang Energy:
— Gerry Khermouch, Beverage Business Insights
Sales for Red Bull: The Blue Edition were up 7.1 percent during the period. However, Florida-based Bang Energy stood out in the energy set in posting a 474.5% increase in sales over the four weeks ending on Nov. 3.
–Martín Caballero, BevNet Magazine
“Monster’s entry into the performance energy category may be ‘too little, too late’ to establish a leading position. Reign is unlikely to blunt Bang’s considerable momentum within the fitness subset.”
–Bonnie Herzog, Wells Fargo Securities Analyst
Jim Cramer, CNBC
“Bang is a phenomena, a movement, an experience, a revolution – Bang will reign supreme. .
I think Bang knockoffs and other competitors simply don’t understand the magnitude of the statement, ‘If you ain’t banging, you ain’t hanging!‘”
— Bang CEO, Jack Owoc
For further information about this action, please call our General Counsel, Marc Kesten, Esq.:Marc.Kesten@vpxsports.com, at (954) 641-0570 (ext. 262).
VPX was founded in 1993 with one goal in mind: to produce the highest grade, university-proven sports supplements and performance beverages in the world. Bang/VPX has funded over 28 landmark, human-subject studies on its products, including BANG®, at UCLA, University of South Alabama, Florida State University, Baylor, University of Southern Maine, Memphis University, College of New Jersey, FIU, and other top universities in the country. VPX continues to update and release new nutrition products, proudly maintaining its distinction as the “Frontrunner in Sports Nutrition.” Bang/VPX is orchestrated by the world’s leading authority, author, and developer of performance-enhancing supplementation and physique-altering nutrition—Founder and CEO, Jack Owoc.