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Knobbe Martens Secures Another Victory for Monster Energy Company in Trade Dress Case

Decision affirming discovery sanctions against Vital Pharmaceuticals upholds Monster’s earlier trial victory

IRVINE, CALIF., August 3, 2022 – A team from Knobbe Martens secured yet another victory on behalf of client Monster Energy Company when the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the imposition of discovery sanctions against Vital Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“VPX”). The decision upholds a 2021 judgment in favor of Monster in a trade dress and trademark suit VPX filed against Monster attempting to halt sales of Monster’s “Reign” energy drinks.

In the August 2021 judgment, U.S. District Judge Roy K. Altman found that VPX’s argument at trial that Monster's Reign drinks infringed VPX’s trade dress was "totally debunked” and that its case had been "left in shambles." The judgment followed a virtual bench trial that took place after the Court granted Monster’s motion to dismiss VPX’s damages claim—and with it, VPX’s demand for a jury trial.

VPX declined to appeal the district court’s decision on the merits of the case and instead appealed only the district court’s decision to strike VPX’s claim for damages—and, as a result, its jury demand. Today’s decision by the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision to impose those sanctions.

Commenting on today’s decision, Knobbe Martens Managing Partner Steven Nataupsky, said, “Following a resounding trial victory, we are quite pleased with today’s decision, which affirms that the Court correctly dismissed VPX’s damages claim. I am particularly proud of the exceptional work of our team which led to this excellent result for our client.”

The case is Vital Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Monster Energy Co. et al. A copy of today’s decision may be found here.

In addition to Mr. Nataupsky, the Knobbe Martens team representing Monster in the dispute included Joe Re, Brian Horne, Lynda Zadra-Symes, Paul Stewart and Carol Pitzel Cruz.

About Knobbe Martens

Knobbe Martens is a highly respected intellectual property law firm, offering legal services in all aspects of intellectual property and technology law.  The firm’s litigation group handles cases throughout the U.S. and coordinates strategy for disputes worldwide. Founded in California in 1962, the firm has about 300 lawyers and scientists based in offices located in Orange County, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C.  Knobbe Martens serves a diverse international client base, from multinational corporations to emerging businesses of all stages. More information about the firm can be found at www.knobbe.com.