Trademark “Knockoffs” Plague Energy Drinks
Food Ingredients First posted an article discussing the problems associated with Trademark “knockoffs,” and how the energy drink category in particular has been subject to a whole new level of “knockoffs” that create confusion, and in some instances, identical names for existing products.
Noteable examples of trademark “knockoffs” include:
Jose Canseco’s “Juiced”: Jose Canseco is reportedly coming out with an energy drink called “Juiced.” This name, however, is aready being used in this category by Rockstar’s Juiced energy-juice hybrid product.
“Two Pit Bulls”: In the U.S. the first “Pit Bull” product was introduced by California-based Hip Hop Beverage. A Florida-based company then imported its own “Pit Bull” from Europe, which brings up the issue of having rights in a foreign country not necessarily entitling you to rights in the United States. The Florida-based company eventually changed its product name to “Spike.”
“Tornado”: “Tornado Energy Drink,” a product put out by a Texas-based company, is in conflict with another company that filed a trademark first, but does not have an actual product out on the market. The result was wasted time and money by both parties that could have been utilized in marketing the product.
These trademark difficulties can be avoided by performing basic research with the United States Patent & Trademark Office(including a simple trademark knockout search) before filing a trademark, and learning when to let go of a name, as most of the time it is not worth it to spend the time and money required. Marketing a product seems to be the key, such as in the case of Red Bull, which had done a phenomenal job creating a powerful brand and mastering the distribution of its product.