Monster Energy Company v Disney Enterprises, Inc [2017] ATMO 2 (10 January 2017)


Monster Energy Company opposed Disney Enterprises application to register the trade mark MONSTERS UNIVERSITY for a wide range goods and services.  However, the opposition related only to goods in Classes 25 (clothing), and 29 and 30 (food products).  Notably, Disney did not apply to register its trade mark in relation to any beverages.

Monster Energy is the owner of the trade mark MONSTER and, at the hearing, Monster Energy led evidence of its use of, and inferable reputation in, the trade mark MONSTER in relation to beverages.

In addition to its evidence, Monster Energy argued that the ‘UNIVERSITY’ element of Disney’s trade mark was descriptive in respect of the goods covered by its application.  It was the hearing officer’s view that this was not the case and the overall trade mark ‘MONSTERS UNIVERSITY’ denoted a University for monsters and was “quite an unusual and novel idea”.

Having been satisfied that consumers would view Disney’s trade mark in its entirety (that is, ‘MONSTERS UNIVERSITY’ and not ‘MONSTERS’), the hearing officer agreed with Disney’s arguments that the use of MONSTERS UNIVERSITY would not lead to confusion or deception based on the reputation of the MONSTER trade mark.

As it was found that no confusion would be likely to arise, the section 60 and 42 grounds were not successful.

To view the Office decision, click here.

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