Reign Launch Ramps Up Energy-Drink Controversy

Bang files trademark infringement lawsuit against Monster Beverage Corp.
bang vs monster
Photograph courtesy of VPX Sports

CORONA, Calif. — Monster Beverage Corp. launched its "performance" energy drink this spring, leading key competitor Bang by VPX Sports to file a trademark infringement lawsuit against Monster.

Monster's new brand, Reign Total Body Fuel, is a "better-for-you fitness beverage designed for active lifestyles," the company said. It features 300 milligrams of caffeine, with zero sugar, zero calories and zero artificial flavors and colors.

Reign differs from Monster energy in that it contains CoQ10, amino acids, electrolytes and vitamins B3, B6 and B12.

"We've made the strategic decision to not in fact make Reign a line extension of Monster," Monster Beverages CEO Rodney Sacks said during an earnings call in February. "We think it should have its own positioning, its own marketing, create its own personality [to] give its best chance of success. We already have an extensive range of products in Monster that appeal to consumers. They have their own personality and identity. So we just felt that this was the appropriate thing for us to do [with Reign]."

Weston, Fla.-based VPX's Bang, however, says Reign is a knockoff of its product, which is the fastest-growing energy drink in convenience stores today. In 2018, Bang unit sales grew more the 400% in c-stores, according to IRI data.

"The knockoff version Reign is nearly identical and confusingly similar to VPX's own aesthetically appealing and distinctive Bang trade dress," Bang said in a press release. Bang also is challenging some of Monster's marketing terminology for Reign, claiming they infringe on Bang's marketing.

In a statement, Corona, Calif.-based Monster said VPX’s lawsuit "is nothing more than a frivolous and bad faith attempt to slow the national release of Reign Total Body Fuel. The company added that the lawsuit is "an attempt to shift attention away from the lawsuit filed by Monster against VPX in September 2018 for false advertising, including false and unsupported claims that Bang contains ingredients that it does not have and provides benefits that it does not generate."

In the meantime, Reign came to market in six flavors: Razzle Berry, Carnival Candy, Peach Fizz, Lemon Headz, Melon Mania and Sour Apple.

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