US: Hansen asks court to vacate trademark ruling

By | 17 July 2007

Hansen Natural Corporation has asked a US court to vacate its decision relating to a preliminary injunction issued in a trademark infringement suit Hansen brought against National Beverage Company.

The soft drinks company said yesterday (16 July) that before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision had been made, it had entered into a binding settlement agreement with National, which made the court's ruling moot.

Last August, the Californian soft drinks company filed a lawsuit against National, alleging it had unlawfully infringed Hansen's 'Monster' trademarks and trade dress rights with its 'Freek' energy drinks brand.

National subsequently redesigned its Freek cans, which it has sold for several months, but they remained the subject of the litigation. The Ninth Circuit's ruling did not relate to the redesigned cans, on which an infringement trial had been set for next month, but which was subsequently taken off calendar in light of the settlement agreement concluded between Hansen and National.

Hansen said it remained confident that the "overwhelming" evidence of National's infringement would have ultimately convinced a jury that both the old and new versions of the Freek cans were conceived and designed to unfairly capitalise on the Monster brand.

"Although the terms of the settlement agreement are confidential, Hansen expects National to live up to its obligations under the agreement," said Hansen CEO Rodney Sacks. "Hansen will enforce its rights under that agreement in court, if necessary."

Sacks continued: "Hansen welcomes competition and has no dispute with hundreds of companies that market and sell energy drinks. However, Hansen cannot accept and will never tolerate attempts by any company to free ride on Monster's brand equity and quality by confusing the public with copy-cat products designed to unfairly capitalise on the famous Monster brand trade dress and trademarks."

Sectors: Soft drinks, Water

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