Rock Art Brewery, Makers of The Vermonster, Told to Cease & Desist

The owners of Monster Energy Drinks, which operate under the name of Hansen Beverage Co.(based in Corona, California) and is actually owned by Anheuser-Busch, have filed a cease and desist order against Rock Art Brewery, LLC of Morrisville, VT, claiming that their beer, “The Vermonster,” infringes upon its intellectual property rights.

According to the Burlington Free Press,

“The Vermonster” beer will “undoubtedly create a likelihood of confusion,” the energy drink’s attorney wrote, calling for Matt and Renee Nadeau, the owners of Rock Art, to “cease and desist” from distributing or selling products with the name “Vermonster.”

Yes, because I see how people could mistake a 22oz brown glass bottle of beer for a 12oz can of “energy drink”. Especially from a brewery who distributes in a very small selection of northern New England states and brews only 3,000 barrels of beer a year.

Hansen Beverage Co. has sought reimbursement for legal expenses and called for Rock Art to abandon a trademark application. Hansen has trademarks for “Monster” and “Monster Energy.”

Nadeau has also reported that the brewery’s legal battle has been ranked 300 on the top 1000 most discussed topics on Twitter for a few days now (click here to follow the brewery @RockArtBrewery) and is getting all sorts of press from many Vermont news outlets and now major players like the Boston Globe. Rock Art also set up a Facebook page to publicize its plight against Hansen Beverage Co and Monster Energy.

Nadeau said, “This is a fight about principles and to tell corporate America that our justice system is not for sale. We, the people, hold the power and we have the tools to combat your deep pockets.”

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  1. What a sin, the article I read said that Hansen is looking to get into the Beer market which would lead me to believe they are doing this to clear their path for a new brand.  I didn’t realize Hansen was owned by Anheuser-Busch.  Not very surprising but pretty unfortunate.

  2. the whole thing is especially wrong if they’re going to enter into the beer market since Monster is marketed primarily to younger (underage) demographics so equating beer and Monster energy drinks would be that much worse.

  3. I dunno, I agree it would be targeting underage drinkers, but in recent years that card is being played heavily.  My wife watches all the next gen 90210’s and Gossip Girl crap shows and the one thing I notice in all of them is drinking booze at 17-20 is normal and not a big deal.  Are we seeing an indifference to under age drinking similar to Europe’s views?

  4. A friend of mine posted this on my facbook about the Vermonster video.

    “Don’t worry to much about it. Though Monster Energy owns the “trademark”. Monster cable tried to sue them and everybody that was using the word monster in products years ago…it didn’t go so well for them. Even they also state they own a trademark for monster.”

  5. Aneuser-Busch doesn’t own Hansen, they distribute it under a long-term contract. This article explains it:

    Regardless, this is an outrageous act and the best thing we can do is make it known to everyone, as you and many others are doing.

  6. Yes, the word spreads!!!!!

  7. Wow, what a load of shite this whole thing is. In my opinion, science will show that this caffeine/sugar/taurine-driven garbage will prove to be toxic…and the thought of our children guzzling it is an outrage…but this?!

    I stand firm with Rock Art Brewery and am trying to rally my readers. Did a post on it here:
    Spread the word!

  8. How can a company own rights to the word monster? Ridiculous! Even if they did, Vermonster is clearly a different animal. This is frivolous bullying by a powerful corporation simply to flex their lawyer’s muscles. Rock Art brews actual beer (not that watered-down dreck known as Bud) and is in no way infringing on the whole toxic “energy drink” craze.

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