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Hansen Beverages
Hall Of Shame Member
Added April 16, 2008

Last Updated December 25, 2009

Hansen Beverages appears to be doing everything right according to the marketing pundits. They, along with Red Bull, dominate the energy drink market. Their Monster Energy drink is right up there. So, we ask, what idiot at Hansen Beverages made the stupid decision to hire Continental Enterprises as their Cyber Cops? Cyber Cops are companies for hire that troll the internet and eBay looking for trademark and copyright infringement. Sometimes, like with Continental Enterprises, these Cyber Cops fabricate infringement claims so they may collect their commissions. Those commission, for the most part, are their primary source of income. Lie a little; enhance revenue a lot.

No, you exclaim! That just can't be! Surely you jest? No, Virginia, we jest not. Along with being stupid, Continental Enterprises has crossed over to the Really Dark Side by accusing someone of trademark infringement by fabricating the evidence. All, we note, on behalf of Hansen Beverages and Monster Energy.

Seems a custom design place, name withheld, was contacted to do some artwork on a vehicle. The vehicle owner wanted to get some custom work done for a car show. According to the owner:

"Hansen was sponsoring the vehicle, meaning they were paying for all of the work being done to the vehicle for the vehicles owner."

"The owner of the vehicle had Hansens authorization from the man in charge of marketing, to do whatever work was necessary to promote the energy drink on the vehicle."

When a company representative contracts to have work done on behalf of the company, that is perfectly acceptable under the law. Unless there is a written contract stipulating otherwise, a company, like the design company here, is completely within it's rights to use a picture of the work done in it's advertising. Like the picture to the right.

So, you ask, what is the problem? Why did Continental Enterprises get involved? Possibly because the custom design place wasn't listed as a licensee of Hansen's? But, then why not make a few inquiries before sending an extortion letter? Darlene Seymour, now General Counsel for Continental Enterprises, wants mo' money, mo' money, mo' money. Those voices she listens to in her head are getting hungry for more.

More from Lisa at the design shop:

We did receive one email from an "ASSociate" of Continental, requesting our catalogue be mailed to them at the following address: Marissa Anderson, 30 Shoshone Dr, Carmel, IN 46032, the email address is Manderson@arcmail.us. What originally set this in motion is that someone from Continental called our shop and asked if we could do something that was on our web site and we said yes, as we pride ourselves in being able to do anything, so our employee quoted the person a cost of $400.00 to $450.00, that was back on January 8, 2008.

So, while what Continental Enterprises does technically is not illegal, stop laughing, it is our opinion that Continental Enterprises is engaged in highly unethical activities. See their page in this very same Hall of Shame Continental Enterprises is at best an extortion scheme Continental Enterprises accused the custom design place based solely on the catalogue and the telephone call. But, the catalogue didn't have the image in question in it. So, apparently needing the money, Darlene Seymour fabricated the claim that the custom design place "had infringed just by (their) employee stating that the work could be done."

Darlene, Darlene, what are you smoking? The Lanham Act requires that the trademark must be used in commerce to be considered infringing. There is no relevant federal trademark law that makes "intent" infringing, even if that is what was said. But, Darlene, unlike you, Lisa is an intelligent business person and her business does not do artwork unless they are sure they have permission from the IP owner. Yes, the employee said they could do the work. That was provided you appeared with the right to have it done.

Welcome to Tabberone's Trademark And Copyright Abusers' Hall Of Shame Hansen Beverages. May your stay be eventful.

UPDATE October 13, 2009 -
Hansen Beverages is at it again. This time they are attempting to extort money over VerMonster, a beer made by Vermont Brewery and claiming people would be confused by the similarity of the names. Legally, VerMonster should win, but at what price? Hansen Beverages is wielding their billion-dollar club against a much smaller foe in what we call "Trademark Absuse". Hansen Beverage is also attempting "Trademark Extortion" tactics as well. Hansen Beverage, you and your lawyers are bums of the worst sort.
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