NEVADA CITY (CBS13) – A Nevada City man says a big-name drink maker is squashing his business dreams.
Mason McGuire pursued a passion with a laptop and a small bottle.
“It came when I was like 16,” McGuire said. “I got arthritis in high school and decided there are no products out there that are healthy in regards to like energy stuff.”
That’s when McGuire came up with the idea to make a sugar free energy drink. He called it Monarch Energy.
When he tried to trademark his company, McGuire got a frightening email from Monster Energy.
“July 30th, I get an email saying they’re opposing it and I had no idea what that meant,” McGuire said. “I was like OK, this probably isn’t a good thing.”
McGuire quickly contacted an attorney to figure out what the letter meant.
The attorney told him, “They’re holding your trademark rights.”
After looking at his logos, his attorney told him he might be OK to use it.
“’You aren’t infringing. There is nothing that exactly similar aside from the usage of the letter ‘M,’” McGuire said.
So, CBS13 wanted to know what the legal restriction is when it comes to these trademarks.
Professor Mike Mireles, an expert on intellectual property law at the McGeorge School of Law, said the trademark office may find that people could get confused when buying these products even if the logos and the products are slightly different.
McGuire had until Monday to challenge this notice by Monster.
“It’s not really a point in appealing it almost just because I’m going to go to court and it’s going to cost me tons of money that I don’t have,” McGuire said.
McGuire said he’s letting that the logo Monarch previously used to go by the wayside.
In the meantime, he told CBS13 that he’s pursuing a different passion.
“It’s like a car software. This is definitely going to be on the back burner for a little bit. I’m not going to give up on it,” McGuire said.
CBS13 called Monster Energy asking for a comment about the situation between the company and McGuire. We were told Monster is looking into our request but hasn’t given us a time frame of when we’ll get that statement.