"U.S. Trial Firm of the Year" – 3 Consecutive Years (Benchmark; Law360)

Hueston Hennigan Wins $175M, Fees & Royalty, One of the Largest-Ever U.S. Trademark Awards

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We obtained a complete victory for Monster Energy Company against Vital Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (VPX), the maker of the “Bang” energy drinks. Following a two-week trial, the arbitrator held that Bang Energy does not contain creatine, contrary to VPX’s prominent and false claims. In the significant ruling, the arbitrator awarded Monster and Orange Bang $175 million in damages, nearly $10 million in attorney’s fees and costs, and a 5% royalty on all future sales of Bang Energy (and other Bang products). This award is “among the largest-ever U.S. trademark awards.” (Reuters)

The decision “recognizes that Bang has long competed unfairly in the beverage marketplace,” noted co-lead counsel John Hueston to Reuters.

In awarding nearly $185 million and a 5% royalty on future sales to Monster and Orange Bang, the arbitrator noted that VPX’s conduct was intentional: “there was plenty of convincing evidence of VPX’s cavalier attitude about adhering” to the terms of the agreement. The arbitrator further noted that Mr. Owoc demonstrated a “cavalier indifference” to his contractual obligations.

“The arbitrator found overwhelming evidence that Bang violated both the contract and trademark law. This is an important and significant victory,” explained co-lead counsel Moez Kaba to Law360.

The significance of the 5% royalty on future sales awarded by the arbitrator is underscored by a recent social media post by Mr. Owoc claiming that VPX’s sales grew to $1.57 billion in 2021. If VPX fails to pay the royalty, it can only market and sell Bang products in vitamin and dietary supplement sections, and it cannot use the Bang mark at all within 12 states, including California, Texas, and New York.

The Hueston Hennigan trial team was led by John Hueston and Moez Kaba, and includes Allison Libeu, Lauren McGrory Johnson, Sourabh Mishra, Brandon Marsh, Michael Todisco, Julia Haines, Justin Greer, Segun Babatunde, and Amber Munoz.

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