A small local company finds itself in a legal battle with a giant. A Monster, to be exact. Bexar Entertainment, located in San Antonio, claims the Monster Energy Drink company wants them to change their brand.
Jeffrey Ybarra, a co-owner of Bexar Entertainment, said the attorneys with Monster Energy Company claims their bear logo, which shows three scratch marks, will damage the Monster company reputation and may confuse consumers.
Duane Maxwell Jr., co-owner of Bexar Entertainment, said the battle with Monster began shortly after they submitted their bear logo to be trademarked and received a letter from Monster attorneys challenging their registration.
"Every single piece of this logo is all one logo, and they are zooming on a part of the logo just because it's three scratches,” Maxwell Jr. said. “If you look at the Monster logo scratch, it's connected, it touches. These don't even touch."
He said changing the brand would put more than thousands of dollars on the line. It would change the story the bear portrays.
“A whole lot of blood, sweat and tears, which is mainly what it stands for,” Maxwell Jr. said. “The three scratches actually represent that life, love and loyalty."
“It symbolizes the fight that we’ve both been through...we overcame a lot of obstacles," Ybarra said.
Attorney Ted Lee with Gunn, Lee & Cave P.C. said the Monster Energy Company is known for aggressively pursuing lawsuits to protect their logo. Lee looked at both brands and gave us his opinion.
"I've been doing this 46 years, approaching 50 and I don't see it,” Lee said. “I think Monster Energy is on the short end of the stick on this controversy."
He said Monster’s opposition to the brand registration will now be decided by three judges. He said while it’s not a lawsuit, it carries fees that often leaves small business owners at a disadvantage.
“Not gonna lie, it's a little scary,” Maxwell Jr. said.
The entertainment company owners said they work full-time jobs and have poured their savings into the business. They said they simply can’t afford legal representation to help guide them through the process.
Once Bexar Entertainment and Monster present their cases, it will take judges up to a month to decide the likelihood of confusion between the bear logo and brand trademarks Monster has registered.
We reached out to the attorney representing Monster Energy and they declined to comment on the matter.