Beds, Herts & Bucks

Monster Energy loses trademark appeal to Monsta Pizza

Winners Image copyright Monsta Pizza
Image caption Chris Dominey founded Monsta Pizza with Christopher Lapham last year

Drinks maker Monster Energy has lost to a pizza parlour in a long-running trademark row.

Monsta Pizza, of Wendover in Buckinghamshire, had successfully fought a claim by the US energy drinks giant in August 2018.

But Monster Energy appealed against the decision of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) claiming consumers could be confused by the names.

However, the bid was rejected "in its entirety" at the Court of Appeal.

Chris Dominey, who founded travelling pizzeria Monsta with Christopher Lapham in 2017, said he had been "immensely relieved" to reach the end of the battle but the business remained in debt due to legal fees which could not be recouped.

He said: "It feels great, I have got my business back, and it does feel good to beat a 'big bully' so to speak.

"If you are confident that you are right you should go for it, but but I would tell other small businesses to beware that it does cost a lot of money.

Image copyright Jack Taylor/Getty Images
Image caption Monster Energy claimed Monsta Pizza's name would confuse customers

"The whole thing has cost us £11,000 in total, and we could only claim £2,860 costs back."

Mr Dominey said much of the company's plans had been put on hold while it awaited the outcome of the legal action.

The business uses a monster-shaped pizza oven, which its logo is designed to represent, meaning a name change would have required considerable upheaval.

Mr Dominey thanked people who contributed to a a crowdfunding campaign which helped pay for some of the legal costs, and those who "gave us support and told us to keep fighting".

Monster Energy has been approached for comment.

Last year a Newbury-entrepreneur said he had been "financially crippled" by a successful two-year battle with Monster Energy in relation to his Thirsty Beasts firm.

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