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 PLEASE READ - Aquatics website being wrongfully targeted by big business.

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Title : I am the Walrus.

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Join date : 2011-06-26
Age : 40
Location : Eugene, OR

PLEASE READ - Aquatics website being wrongfully targeted by big business. Empty
PostSubject: PLEASE READ - Aquatics website being wrongfully targeted by big business.   PLEASE READ - Aquatics website being wrongfully targeted by big business. EmptyTue Jul 17, 2012 10:00 pm

On February 24, Monster Energy Company sent a cease & desist letter to MonsterFishKeepers.com in regards to their use of the marks MonsterFishKeepers, and the MonsterFishKeepers “M” symbol in connection with clothing, accessories, and stickers. It requires them to drop the trademark applications that were pending at the time for said trademarks. Monster Energy claimed that the use of these marks constituted trademark infringement and would cause confusion with their own MONSTER™, MONSTER ENERGY®, and MONSTER “Claw M®” marks. MonsterFishKeepers.com asserted that an informed consumer would be unlikely to mistake the two brands as one is specifically marketed towards the keepers of large fishes in specialized online sites & aquarium stores while the other is more openly marketed in sports-related facilities and traditional retail stores.

Later on, Monster Energy sent a series of demands including, but not limited to, abandoning the trademark applications for the MonsterFishKeepers “M” symbol marks as well as ceasing to use those marks in connection with apparel & accessories, refraining from using or applying for any marks containing the word “Monster” or the letter “M,” refraining from using the colors black & green on any MonsterFishKeepers.com or Monster Aquaria Network Websites or in connection with apparel & accessories, and pay Monster Energy Corporation its attorneys’ fees in connection with this matter. As you can see, the bulk of Monster’s demands as these terms are extremely restrictive & unfair, not to mention downright ridiculous in some cases.

MonsterFishKeepers has been using MonsterFishKeepers and the MonsterFishKeepers “M” design marks since March 30, 2005 and the marks were duly registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office since October 23, 2007. We strongly believe that the law is on MonsterFishKeepers.com’s side, but MonsterFishKeepers.com will not be able to fund the legal proceedings that would be needed to resolve this dispute with Monster Energy. Unfortunately for MonsterFishKeepers.com, Monster Energy can file an unlimited number of appeals even if MonsterFishKeepers.com wins the first round of the case; in the end, Monster Energy would certainly outlast MonsterFishKeepers.com in the legal proceedings after MonsterFishKeepers.com runs out of money since there is no way that such a small company could compete with such a large company in terms of legal fees.

This is not the first time Monster Energy has filed claims like this. They employed Continental Enterprises, an IP protection company known for its overzealous, attack-dog style of suing everybody and their grandmother who may have even seen a picture of Monster's logo. In 2007, Monster sent the site bevreview.com samples for review, then, once the review was written and photos of the beverage included in the review, they sent a cease and desist letter stating, "You are receiving this letter because Continental has received information that you advertised and/or sold products bearing one or more of the Hansen marks, or confusingly similar derivations thereof. " Also, in 2009, they sued Rock Art Brewery, a small brewery in Vermont who created an especially strong beer and named it "Vermonster." Due to Rock Art Brewery getting enough support from the public, Monster Energy BACKED DOWN and DROPPED THE CLAIM. Surprisingly enough, this is one of their more legitimate claims (both being beverages), though it's still pretty far-fetched. Again in 2009, Monster sent a cease and desist letter to Trygve Lode, an actor who played a monster in a movie called "The Shadow Walkers." He was in talks with Monster for a product placement agreement and snapped a picture of himself in full monster get-up, holding a can of the drink and posted it on his website. He received a similar message to the one they sent bevreview.com in 2007, stating that he was advertising/selling the energy drink on his site and needed to remove the photo completely (despite the fact that the photo was taken DURING talks with Monster with the INTENT to advertise). However, this time, Monster Energy is not suing a beverage, there was no use of it's logo on this site, it is simply suing over the use of a word and a letter. It's picking on the little guys in an effort to make a quick buck. I highly doubt they honestly think there's confusion between a fishkeeping website and an energy drink.

Here is a link to the actual site. The logo is in the top left corner, and there is a drop-down menu in the upper right that can take you to the other affiliated sites:http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/

There has been an online petition started here:http://www.change.org/petitions/mons...k-infringement

There is a facebook group here:https://www.facebook.com/groups/207102559416917/

And here is a blog started by the site here, with information:http://support.monsterfishkeepers.com/

The MonsterAquaria Network has a large and diverse international community with over 200,000 registered members and, in my personal estimations, based on site statistics, 1-1.5 million "lurkers" (users of the site without an actual registered account). If a person has a sick fish or a question, and they google it, these forums (monsterfishkeepers.com, aquariacentral.com, aquaticphotography.com) are likely to be in the first three results. The forum has always been free-to-join, and people rely on this site every day, and if they lose one of the most respected forums in the hobby to something like this due to a simple lack of funds and lack of public knowledge, it would truly be a shame.
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