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Ohio Foreclosure Defense & Consumer Law > Blog > Business Torts > Monster Energy Drink Files Trademark Infringement Lawsuit Against Local Restaurant

Monster Energy Drink Files Trademark Infringement Lawsuit Against Local Restaurant


Monster Energy Company recently filed a lawsuit against a local Ohio restaurant for trademark infringement. The suit was filed March 9, 2023 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. According to Monster Energy, The Monster Shawarma, a restaurant located in Toledo, “has sold and is offering for sale goods and services using trademarks and trade dress that are confusingly similar to one or more of the Monster Marks and the Monster Trade Dress.” Monster Energy contends that the restaurant’s sign is too similar to the trademarked logo used by Monster Energy. They have used the trademark since their company was launched in 2002.

Monster Energy alleges that the restaurant did not get permission to use its trademark and is demanding a trial by jury.

What is trademark infringement? 

Under U.S. law, trademark infringement is defined as the unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark. Unlawful use of a trademark can lead to confusion, deception, and misunderstanding about the actual company a product or service was provided by. Trademark owners can file lawsuits against individuals and other companies that unlawfully used their registered materials for their own financial enrichment. If the plaintiff is able to prove that their trademark was infringed upon, the court can order the defendant to stop using the mark, and the owner can be awarded monetary damages.

In order to file suit, the company whose trademark was infringed upon must have first registered the trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. A registered trademark is a symbol, word, or combination of the two that represents a company or product and differentiates it on the market. As an example, Nike’s “swoosh” is a registered trademark. Another company would not be allowed to use it to market their own products. Federal trademark registration provides exclusive usage rights to the trademark owner. Further, it provides public notification of ownership.

Factors when determining whether or not a trademark has been infringed 

When a trademark lawsuit is filed, the courts will consider various factors to determine whether or not the plaintiff’s exclusive rights have been violated. These factors include:

  • Whether or not the plaintiff has a valid trademark. Trademarks can be valid because they have been officially registered or because the plaintiff has a claim under common law.
  • Whether the defendant has used the trademark for their own purposes
  • Whether the defendant is using the trademark “in commerce”
  • Where the use of the trademark is connected to the sale, offer, distribution, or advertising of a product
  • Whether the use of the trademark is likely to “confuse” customers

In the majority of cases, the issue boils down to whether or not customers are “confused” by the unlawful use of the trademark.

Talk to a Columbus, OH Trademark and Copyright Attorney Today 

Is another Ohio business entity using your registered trademark or copyrighted material? If so, the Columbus business torts attorneys at Kohl & Cook Law Firm, LLC can help you file suit and prevent future infringement on your protected materials. Call our office today to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can help.

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