Friday, 14 May 2021 15:59

The TTAB Dunked a Decision In Favor of the NBA Over a Trademark Dispute with Monster Energy

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In 2016, Monster Energy Company (“Monster”) filed four Oppositions against Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. and NBA Properties (“Applicants”) on the basis of likelihood of confusion between the Applicants’ claw logo marks and its “M-Claw” mark. The TTAB recently dismissed Monster’s Oppositions. In its decision, the TTAB found that the Applicants fame was only in the context of energy drinks and did not extend to other products or services. In particular, the TTAB concluded that “the significant differences in appearance, sound (if any), meaning, and commercial impression” between the marks precluded a finding of likelihood of confusion. Additionally, the TTAB dismissed Monster’s dilution claims because its mark “is not sufficiently famous for dilution purposes.” In the same decision, the TTAB dismissed the Applicants’ Counterclaim alleging a likelihood of confusion between Monster’s mark and another claw mark. The TTAB concluded that the “Prior Claw Mark is so different from Monster’s M-Claw Mark in appearance, sound (if any), meaning, and overall commercial impression to preclude a finding of likelihood of confusion.”

To read the full decision, click here.

Monster Image

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Emily Mola

Ms. Mola earned her Bachelor’s degree in History, magna cum laude, from the Florida International University, and a Juris Doctor degree and Certificate in Intellectual Property Law from the Florida International University, College of Law. While at FIU Law, she served as the President of the Intellectual Property Student Association. As a result of her dedication to intellectual property law, she earned three CALI Excellence for the Future Awards in focused academic coursework. Ms. Mola is the recipient of the International Trademark Association’s 2020 Ladas Memorial Award for her article, Trademark Law’s Capability to Protect Traditional Cultural Expressions from Unauthorized Borrowing and Theft. Ms. Mola is a 2018 Microsoft/Hispanic National Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Legal Institute scholar.