Monster Energy Co. v. Peng, et al., No. 17 C 414, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Oct. 23, 2017) (Dow, J.).

Judge Dow granted plaintiff Monster Energy’s motion for summary judgment, granting final judgment, a permanent injunction and attorney’s fees in this Lanham Act dispute involving defendants’ use of Monster Energy’s Claw Icon Mark and copyrighted Monster Energy design to a stylized claw with jagged edges.

Because defendants failed to respond to Monster Energy’s summary judgment or its Local Rule 56.1 statement of undisputed material facts, the Court accepted Monster Energy’s facts as true, holding:

  • Monster Energy’s trademark infringement, counterfeiting and Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act claim were sufficiently supported and undisputed by defendants. The Monster Energy trademark registrations were sufficient evidence of validity and Monster Energy’s ownership of the marks.
  • The six mark/good combination used on defendants’ accused products were “identical to, or substantially indistinguishable from” the Claw Icon Mark. And defendants’ misuse of the Claw Icon Mark was sufficient evidence of a likelihood of confusion.
  • Defendants infringed Monster Energy’s copyrights. Defendants’ answer admitted that Monster Energy owned the copyrights. And defendants’ accused products included virtually identical or substantially similar copies of the copyrighted material.
  • Because Monster Energy’s requested statutory damages were reasonable and undisputed by defendants, the Court awarded Monster Energy its full requested amount — $100k for each of the six mark/product combinations for the counterfeiting ($600k total) and $50k for the copyright infringement.

The Court also awarded a permanent injunction against defendants’ future use of the Claw Icon Mark or Monster Energy’s copyrighted stylized claw with jagged edges:

  • Defendants failed to rebut the presumption that Monster Energy’s harm from trademark and copyright infringement was irreparable;
  • The balance of hardship weighed in Monster Energy’s favor because of the substantial time and cost required to police Monster Energy’s IP rights; and
  • The public’s interest lies in protecting IP rights.

The Court awarded Monster Energy its attorney’s fees because it was undisputed that defendants’ knowingly distributed counterfeit goods.