Texas observers of intellectual property law and associated litigation may have noted a high-profile case between the California-based manufacturers of Monster Energy Drinks and the seminal New York City hip-hop group, the Beastie Boys. Although the legal team for the Beastie Boys has won the original case, they are now attempting to force Monster to pay the legal fees.
A federal jury convened in Manhattan in June and awarded the Beastie Boys $1.7 million for the unauthorized use of some of their music in an online advertising campaign for Monster. The members of the band appeared personally in court to reaffirm their career-long commitment to eschewing advertising usage of their music. The jury found their arguments compelling and affirmed their legal right to compensation. However, the price of the representation and related costs necessary to reach that verdict was reportedly far more than the amount of the compensation granted.
The counsel for the Beastie Boys allege that the legal team for Monster Energy Drinks deliberately made the case longer and more difficult than it needed to be in order to punish the plaintiffs. They pointed to Monster’s apparent reluctance to engage in negotiations in good faith and efforts at overturning the verdict. They request that Monster be required to pay $2.4 million dollars in legal fees on top of the amount of the original verdict.
If someone were to have a reasonable suspicion that a lawsuit was prolonged unnecessarily in order to raise the legal costs and hurt the litigant, then they would be within their rights to seek redress and payment of their attorney’s fees. The assistance of an attorney in such complex litigation would be helpful, as their familiarity with the technical points of the relevant laws could be relevant.
Source: News1130, “Beastie Boys lawyers: $1.7M jury award in Monster Energy case doesn’t cover $2.4M legal bills,” Associated Press and Larry Neumeister, Jan. 19, 2015