A federal judge recently denied an attempt by Monster Energy marketer Hansen Beverage Co. to hamper rival energy brand Redline, produced by VPX, by derailing its advertising claims.
Hansen’s suit alleged Redline Power Rush 7-Hour Energy Boost fails to live up to its promotional claim of keeping consumers “amped to the max” for seven hours. That failure, Hansen said, constitutes a violation of the Lanham Act – a federal law that governs trademark disputes and false advertising – and should bar VPX from using that claim.
However, Judge Irma E. Gonzalez ruled Dec. 30 that Hansen offered too little evidence that the company would suffer irreparable harm without the requested injunction. She also pointed out that Hansen waited nearly a year after the Redline product’s Sept. 2007 debut to file for a preliminary injunction, which, the judge said, suggested that Hansen didn’t believe Redline Power Rush had a serious impact on its business.
Hansen has filed a number of lawsuits against other beverage companies in the past year, including complaints against energy shot marketers Zipfizz and N2G Distributing, as well Muscle Milk maker CytoSport, who also produces an energy drink.
Their litigious route follows other dominant companies in the energy category. Living Essentials, makers of 5-Hour Energy, recently won an injunction against 6-Hour Energy, a shot that used very similar to the category leader. Red Bull has also sued bars and night clubs that substituted other energy drinks when patrons asked for alcoholic drinks mixed with Red Bull.