Monster Energy is suing the Toronto Raptors. Canada's NBA team is in the midst of a legal battle over the rights to the team's iconic claw logo. New reports claim that Monster suing Raptors was a decision that came from accusations that the Raptors logo is too similar to the one used by Monster for its energy drinks.
According to Josh Gerben, a Washington, D.C., trademark lawyer who spoke to CBC, relinquishing their logo would be the worst case scenario for the Toronto Raptors. Thankfully, Gerben states that outcome is highly unlikely since claw marks are often used in logos which could stand to weaken Monster's case. Narcity has reached out to Gerben for more information on this.
Monster argues that its logo, made up of three vertical scratch marks, is essentially the same design that the Raptors have used since 2014. The Raptors logo was created using a similar concept - three diagonal claw marks on a basketball. The energy drink company objected almost immediately after Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment first attempted to register the team’s new logo design four years ago.
"Monster has sold billions of dollars worth of goods under (its) mark," read a statement in the company’s documents which were filed way back in June 2015, according to the Huffington Post. Since 2002, the company continued on to claim that the Monster would be hurt greatly by the registration of the Raptors logo:
"Monster will be damaged by registration of the (Raptors) in that the mark will dilute the distinctive qualities of (Monster’s) mark … and will lessen the ability of (Monster’s) mark to distinguish (Monster’s) goods."
Even though Monster claims that they had first dibs on the claw logo, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment argued that the Raptors have used a logo featuring three claw marks and a basketball since the team’s inception in 1994.
MLSE claimed that their current logo is little more than an updated version of their original one, stating that their new logo “is the same or substantially the same” as the one they used in the 90s.