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Monster Cable business practices...

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by chunky, Nov 17, 2004.

  1. chunky


    Nov 3, 2004
    Portland Oregon
    There's all this talk about how Behringer is the devil because they have nasty business ethics. Long threads devoted to it, right? What about Monster Cable? I think it's easier to talk down on Behringer, because their products aren't terribly fantastic anyway. How about this though?

    Rogue of the Week:

    MonsterVintage.com occupies two floors in one of the Pearl District's last unpolished industrial warehouses, where the 3-year-old company sifts through massive crates of used clothes in search of gems. Much as the Rogue Desk thinks it insane to pay $250 for a '70s rock T-shirt, the business Victor Petrucci and Cathy West named after their cat in 2001 is a relatively modest concern. The couple has two part-time employees; the biz grosses about $200,000 a year.

    MonsterVintage's humble scale only makes its treatment at the hands of Goliath rogue Monster Cable all the more despicable. The San Francisco electronic-components company--which deals in coaxial cables, car audio gear, cell-phone handsets and the like, raking in $300 million annually--is suing MonsterVintage for trademark violation.

    Monster Cable makes a hobby of such suits. It's gone after the Discovery Channel for its show Monster Garage, Bally Gaming's Monster slot machine and a novelty shop with the web domain name monster.biz. (So far, they haven't sued Monster.com, the jobs site.)

    "They're just into strong-arm tactics," says Petrucci. "They just try to instill fear in people, and people just give up their business names."

    Petrucci says that before suing, Monster Cable tried to get him to pay $1,000 and 1 percent of MonsterVintage's business to keep using the name. The MV owners plan to represent themselves, and they hope for a jury trial. They may get some free legal help from law students volunteering for the nonprofit Electronic Freedom Foundation. Monster Cable's spokesman declined to comment.

    Petrucci spent a week in early October driving around San Francisco in a Ryder truck mounted with giant signs publicizing the case. In a city where Monster Cable just controversially paid $6 million for naming rights to Candlestick Park, Petrucci says he received many a thumbs-up. It's a comfort, he says, if a small one.

    "I haven't been able to eat or sleep because of this," he says. "We'd like to hire more people and expand our business, but we can't because of this delusion of theirs."
  2. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Whether you like their business practices or not, if Monster has been using the name longer, they have the right to do whatever it takes to protect the brand.

    I am pretty sure if I opened a business called Coke Vintage whatever, that Coca Cola would take legal action against me.
  3. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I really don't understand it in the least bit. Based on my understanding of trademark law, they don't have a leg to stand on. You can't take a common word like "monster" and say that you have sole rights to its use. In fact, I thought that is why we are seeing all of these companies popping up with weird names.
  4. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Doesn't surprise me.

    Next they'll be going after monster movies, Frankenstein's monster, Monster Magnet, The Monster Mash, the Loch Ness monster, monster trucks, gila monsters, the UK's Monster Raving Loony Party ...
  5. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Not that it will do any good, but I emailed Monster Cable to tell them that I would no longer be a customer.
    BboogieXVII likes this.
  6. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    not the same IMO. It would be more like:

    Donkey cable vs. Donkey Clothing than you using Coke as anything.
  7. chunky


    Nov 3, 2004
    Portland Oregon
    I feel good about posting this thread now. Cool.
  8. If they are seriously going after the Cookie Monster on sesame street, they oughta have their headquarters torched...
  9. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Even if your case would likely be thrown out of court, you can always scare away competition with the threat of sueing (even though its ethically questionable if the case has no basis). For example, if I have a lot of money (which I dont :( ) and run Mark's SMASH repairs, I could threaten SMASH's Pollitical Pamphlet Printers with a trademark violation suit. Assuming that SMASH has no money to waste on lawyers and legal advice and possibly going to court, he may just fold and change his name.

  10. Thanks for naming my band.
  11. chunky


    Nov 3, 2004
    Portland Oregon
    "Petrucci says that before suing, Monster Cable tried to get him to pay $1,000 and 1 percent of MonsterVintage's business to keep using the name."

    This is the nastiest part, to me. Like Monster cable wants to be a pimp. That's some ballsy intimidation.
  12. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
  13. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i wonder if the NHRa has to pay for the use of the term monster trucks

    maybe fender has a shot at suing every car company on earth :p
  14. Don't_Fret

    Don't_Fret Justin Schornstein

    Dec 10, 2003
    But I like their cables... :bag:
  15. waxbass


    Nov 13, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Doooood, their cable fail almost 4x as often as cheap ol crap cables. I ****e you not. I just recently had 2 new monster cables go out on me in the same show. It was amazing. I won't buy any more monster cables......

    wax :eyebrow:
  16. Just don't sue :bag:
  17. Well, I feel like crap. I've spent hundreds of dollars on Monster Cables for my studio. I won't ever spend a dime on one again though. It sickens me when I hear about lawsuits like this.

    - Dave
  18. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    Did they sue the "Monsters of Rock" tour?
  19. pmkelly

    pmkelly Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    that's a shame.... and I was using a good number of Monster cables.... don't think I will anymore.

  20. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Although I agree to a point, using a common reference like "Monster" creates a problem.

    But I did here that Coke is thinking about going after some Columbian Drug Lords though.;) :D

    For what it's worth: I thought Monster.Com (the job site) was the one who had the deal with Candlestick Park, as I'm sure most of America does as only Musician's, Audiophiles, and people getting sued know who/what Monster Cable is (No..it's not the new 24 hour Monstermovie channel :p ).