There you go – just when you thought I was behaving – here is the mother of all scams – and this one is an official scam including lawyers! My friend Allyn on his gay vblogger site brought this one to my attention. Basically a small craft brewer in Vermont is being threatened to by a cease and desist letter from a crappy energy drink manufacturer called Monster Energy – like duh – I had to look up the Monster Energy crap up in wikipedia – but its one of the those high sugar, high caffeine things which has nothing do with alcohol – beer does – Apple can’t stop the New Zealand Apple and Pear Marketing Board using their trademark – and neither can an energy drink go after a craft beer brewer in Vermont: Apple computers and the fruit are different: so are energy drinks and beer LOL
So this is a basically a bully-boy tactic – oh can’t afford $65,000 a court case – back off now! So much for the myth that US is the land of the free and particularly the land of the entrepreneur.
Over the last couple of years of being online I have learned a lot more about America than I ever new before. Quite frankly I have become increased amazed at just how hard it is for you guys to run an online business or any other sort of business.
Its hard for you to get started – because your wages are so low – cleaning toilets in Australia pays US$17 / hr – there’s no real safety net if you need a bit of part-time quick cash. Your barriers to being in business are extraordinary high – you pay higher taxes as a self-employed person, its expensive and complex to file taxes, you have to worry about getting health insurance because you can’t afford not to be insured. You need lawyers and liability insurance because of – well the lawyers really.
And then you make a success with your craft brewery and take it from a one-man basement operation to a 10-person small business and this carp happens!
Well luck for this guy – there is a way to stop this – bad publicity is really bad for trendy drink manufacturers – so could you please promote this guys site – (not this post – go thru to the guys site The Vermonster ) and twitter, facebook, build anchored backlinks – whatever you need to.
I think Americans should stand up for your rights in the “land of the free” – and the rest of us should help out too – cause that’s what mates do. And as William Shakespeare said: “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”
UPDATE – you might want to ask a question of monsterdrink’s marketing department as to why they are letting themselves in for so much bad publicity – you will find their contact form here
Further Update: it looks like Rock Art Brewery vs Corporate America may have ended in a win for the little guy!
27 replies on “ROCK ART BREWERY vs Corporate America – The Biggest Scam of All!”
The multinationals have the money and lawyers to stomp on anyone they like.
Apple is currently taking on Woolworths, the giant supermarket chains.
they reckon that Woolworth’s new logo is too much like Apple’s.
I need new glasses. They look pretty different to me!
Apple v. Woolworths is business – Monster Drinks v. tiny company (also energy drink blogger and even an actor! is bullying pure and simple ! Though I agree I thought a) the woolworths logo looked different and b) woolworths doesnt sell laptops
To be fair, it does look like an apple – which is what woolworths want to achieve surely?
Why else would they design a logo, that looks like an apple?
However. I don’t see how an ‘apple’ and be trademarked – unless apple now have exclusivity of the use or apple images (as in the fruit) and anyone who chooses to eat or buy said fruit? That would be like Orange Mobile not allowing any logos to have the colour orange in them?
Looking at the Woolworths logo – all i would think this – that looks like and apple – what a rubbish logo. It doesn’t represent the brand in the slightest – most likely just a publicity stunt to get the brand some free publicity.
This used to be the land of the entrepreneur but no more. The big guys have the courts and government so tied up that they can do what ever they want. And the sad thing is the people are just following along like sheep. What ever they are told to think by the screaming TV pundits they do. It is really getting to be a sad state of affairs.
I was really perplexed by this whole situation until I realized an interesting question. During our Civil War, why did poor white boys fight their cousins from the north(and die), so that rich white men could have slaves? That was one of the biggest scams ever in this country.
We are still being scammed while being told how great we have it.
Is there any room down there in the bottom half of the world? I want to move as soon as I develop my passive income with internet marketing.
Agrande Askimet captured your comment – I hope I have deleted any of your others! Oh there is plenty of room – WA has 0.85 of a person a square km or something! The trick is of course explaining to immigration that you are a business man – that’s why the Philippines and Malaysia are so popular as retirement destinations!
Yeah, we’re so hampered over here. That’s why no one has done anything innovative or started any successful businesses here in just about forever. Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Napster…
Thanks for posting the link to the contact form. I emailed them. It’s a shame when things like this happen. Hopefully the company will realize it’s a different day and age and things like this catch on like wildfire online – and it will all be negative publicity for them until it either stops one way or the other. Sadly, that could include the brewery being run out of business. I sure hope not.
I plan to call them tomorrow maybe if Monster Energy gets a lot of phone calls they will reconsider killing a small business owner and hopefully and the bad publicity will shame them into stopping.
You have an interesting view on workers in America Lissie. 🙂 It’s not that bad, at least it wasn’t when I was gainfully employed. Now I’m just a lazy housewife looking for a cause.
Well isn’t this a piece of b’llshait… Griz is already ranking on page #1 for monster energy – it is time to let the searchers know what is the company behind monster energy drink really like. I hate this, mostly because of the fact that the way the legal system is built in the States seems to support the corporations, and does not really give a carp about the “American dream”
Geesh I put the wrong url in my previous comment.
Lis, it is interesting to see your take on this.
peronally, I think Monster and hansens are probably “legally” doing what they should, but the issue is bigger than that in my opinion. What ever happened to people working together and helping their fellow man?
that’s what ticked me off. Monster hid behind lawyers instead of call matt at the brewery and sitting across a table (sharing a beer) and talking this thing out. THAT is why i am ranting and raving and showing Monster and hansen’s hypocrisy
Unfortunately the law in the US, and probably other countries, encourages such lawsuits to some extent. The owner of a trademark is required to defend it. If five years from now, someone does make an actual trademark violation, and they can find other violations or near-violations that the trademark owner ignored, they can use that as evidence that the trademark has actually become public property. So it’s wise to spend a bit to challenge usage. It doesn’t matter if they win or lose, just that the defense was attempted. At least that’s how it was explained to me long ago. So sometimes these are vicious and designed to break the back of a company, and other times they are really just intended to establish a claim. None of this is new. All this law is old and has been around forever, so I doubt it is inhibiting American creativity any more than usual.
The US law is out of step. Oddly I know something about this area of law – I worked in the NZ patent office for a while! Basically a registered mark is yours if registered in the country – its a country by country thing – in NZ they would never have been approved because beer and non-alchoholic energy drinks are different categories fullstop. It costs a few hundreds/thousands to register the mark – but its yours so long as you keep paying the annual fee. There was a case a few years ago where a woman was using her name as her brand – but someone else already had the mark of a very similar name in the same category (fashion). She lost – not in court – in the Patent office – she had to stop using her own name to market becasue there was a registered mark which was too similar in the category – the bill would still have come to a few thousands of dollars – but nothing like the figures we are talking about in the US – and the case is closed – arguement over. Oh and you prior use by showing you’ve used the mark – not in the courts.
NZ law is based on Commonwealth (British ) law and I believe most of the commonwealth countries are similar – AFAIK its only the US that allow lawyers to establish claim rather than just proving use
Something similar here I guess. Registerin at the Patent Office (~100$) gives you protection for the Tm. If they don’t accept your registration because of something similar in the same “niche” you’ll have to come up with something new – no reason to complaim since it won’t stick.
This has been discussed by my peers (employees). Some think that Matt from http://rockartbrewery.com knew exactly what he is doing. (thinking he is running on monster gratis)
Regardless of that I still believe that Big Corps really need to help the small business instead of trying to diffuse small business .
I just saw a victory notice at rockartbrewery.com………
Quote from the site:
America You have saved
THE VERMONSTER !!
Your voice has caused corporate America to rethink its position
We can continue to brew our beer as we have since 2006!!
Yea!!! huge victory for the people!!
POWER to the PEOPLE
POWER belongs to the people
contact Rock Art Brewery firstname.lastname@example.org
It is interesting to understand the real power that we have as individuals grouped with like minded individuals.
Too bad most average people will never understand the concept.
This is a new milestone as far as I can see.
It’s a pleasure to have an association!
P.S. Even the people “not” in America are appreciated….Really!
In the US, you can always use your own name for a company. So if I wanted to do ‘Cindy, Inc.’ no one could stop me. I don’t think you have to pay an annual fee for a trademark once it is registered. I’m not surprised it all went away. They’ve made their point.
I once worked for P&G, and for any product where they have a named character advertising it, they have a person with that name who liscensed it to them. So there is a real Mr. Whipple somewhere.
If one defines a scam as something deceptive and illegal then Hansen’s actions are not a scam. If someone were to produce a beverage claiming to be the same as Monster when it were just colored sugar water then that could be called a scam.
That’s not to say Hansen made a smart choice to pick on Rock Art Brewery, but it is not a scam, just lame PR. Rock Art is a corporation just like Hansen. Name calling corporate America as evil is Marxist jibberish, ignoring all the benefits achieved in the last century.
But being a corporate bully is uncalled for and counterproductive in a permission-based free market.
There is more bully behavior coming from government authorities than consumers. We can affect the corporations by purchasing or avoiding their products but can we tell the law makers not to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs?
Lis for President of the USA! The gay vlogger link made me laugh. Maybe we should build Allyn some gay anchored links for that term.
LOL Steve – I wasn’t born there so therefore eligible – also over-weight- the Americans would never vote for a fat person! Yeah as one trust agent to another Allyn needs to rank for gay vbogger …
Hey, that’s cool with me, I welcome any search traffic, gay or straight! LOL
It would be funny but if I piss him off, I don’t want to be on the receiving end of one of his videos. I think there is something in the Trust Agent contract that says you are not supposed to try and rank other Trust Agents for gay keywords. You are a Trust Agent, see if you can find it in your paperwork.
Paper work? I’m a trust agent not a paper pusher 🙂 Nah Allyn definitly mentioned he was a gay video blogger – I read it on twitter so it must be true …
I just find it funny that you now rank 8-9 respectively for “gay vblogger site” cuz of this post. Ha.
Actually the mybloglog feed is #1 LMFAO!
wow number 1 wtf that’s cool.. oh an have seen that new logo with Woolworth they are so different if they can win im a monkeys unkle.
It’s a shame when things like this happen. Hopefully the company will realize it’s a different day and age and things like this catch on like wildfire online – and it will all be negative publicity for them until it either stops one way or the other. Sadly, that could include the brewery being run out of business. I sure hope not. Actually these things happen when on is devoid of any ethical and moral responsibility towards the business culture. Hope it is curtailed at the earliest.
Seems like you can sue anyone for anything nowadays.
All I know is those energy drinks are all nasty and beer is tasty!!!