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A Monster Win for Rock Art

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Morrisville, Vermont - October 21, 2009

A monster win for a Vermont beer company. Rock Art Brewery, which makes the popular Vermonster beer, has won its legal battle with the large corporation that makes Monster Energy Drinks.

In mid-September Rock Art brewery got a "cease and desist" letter from Hansen Beverage Company, the makers of Monster Energy Drink. The letter demanded Rock Art stop selling ‘The Vermonster' beer and drop its efforts to get a federal beer trademark for The Vermonster.

Once word got out about the threat, the public rallied around Rock Art. Dozens of liquor stores throughout Vermont pulled Monster Energy drinks from their shelves and fans started Facebook pages calling for a Monster boycott.

Rock Art lawyers have been in negotiations with Monster lawyers and late Wednesday afternoon the two sides came to an agreement. Rock Art gets to keep ‘The Vermonster' name as long as it stays out of the energy drink business.

Owner Matt Nadeau is pleased with the victory and says he would like to see more trademark reform.

"We're so happy and appreciate all the support," Nadeau said in a phone interview from his home, Wednesday night. "It would be wonderful to take this momentum and look at the next step. A little bit of reform. I understand big corporations have built their business, but the small guy needs to be able to fight a reasonable battle."

Drinkers of Rock Art beer are also happy to hear the news.

"Excellent, we're very excited about it," said Montpelier resident John Graves upon learning of the agreement. "I don't think Monster owns the English language. It's not the same name. If they called the beer Monster, that would be an argument."

Burlington resident Daniel Luttrell spent the last several weeks inviting people to join the Facebook page in support of Rock Art.

"They won?! I'm ecstatic!" he said after learning the news. "I'm thrilled!"

Monster had also demanded Rock Art pay its legal fees associated with this threat, but the company agreed to drop that request.

Bianca Slota - WCAX News

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