Oct 14, 2009 - Brewers and beer enthusiasts have responded in huge numbers to protest a "cease and desist" letter against Rock Art Brewery, a small brewery in Vermont.
Supporters are voicing their objections to the makers of Monster energy drink, Hansen Beverage Company, for going after a small entrepreneur over the right to trademark the name of a strong barley wine aptly named "Vermonster".
The "cease and desist" letter demands Rock Art stop selling its Vermonster beer, drop its effort to get a federal trademark for the name, and pay Hansen's lawyer fees. The letter says Monster has worked hard to establish its brand and Rock Arts use of the name Vermonster "will undoubtedly create a likelihood of confusion and/or dilute the distinctive quality of Hansen's Monster marks."
Matt Nadeau, founder/owner of Rock Art Brewing consulted several lawyers who agreed that the microbrewery could legally win a court battle. However, to do so Rock Art Brewing will face legal fees starting at $65,000. Matt and his wife Renee who also works at the brewery face losing all they own if they choose to go to court against a company reportedly worth $1 billion dollars.
Matt tells the compelling on youtube.com at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbG_woqXTeg
"When I pledged allegiance to this country as a kid in grade school I don't remember the end of it saying "and justice for all who have the deepest pockets,'" says Matt Nadeau."You got five people saying I'm right, I don't think it should be coming to the point where they take everything."
As Rock Art Brewing prepares for their 'David versus Goliath' battle, Rene Nadeau had this to say through a Facebook update:
"The easiest and best way to support us and any other craft business is by purchasing their product and let everyone know about the beers you enjoy. That keeps us doing what we want to do...brew the beers! I truly thank everyone who has offered their ...support! Cheers! Renee"