From: Mike Shkolnik []           Sent: Thu 7/11/2002 6:24 PM
To: Irene Baran
Cc: Anne Glazer; Noel Lee
Subject: Monster Cable

Dear Irene,

I understand your need to protect your trademark. Unfortunately, you chose one of the most commonly used words in the Halloween industry to represent your company. People were having monster nightmares before wire existed. You cannot commandeer the word from the English language. Here is some research I did for my response to the case:

Number of live registered trademarks for the word "monster": 20
Number of live registered trademarks containing the word "monster": 471

Number of domain names containing the word "monster" ( 6,619
Number of domain names that start with the word "monster" ( 3,303

Number of hits from a search for "monster" on about 5,950,000
Number of hits from a search for "monster cable" on about 126,000

Number of hits from a search for "monster shop" without "monster cable" on 768
Number of hits from a search for "monster shop" with "monster cable" on 1

Number of books on resulting from a search for "monster": 5,734
Number of books on about Monster Cable Products Inc: Zero

Number of movies with "monster" in the title as per 285
Number of movies with "monster" in the plot description as per 438
Number of movies with "monster" as a keyword as per 723
Number of movies about Monster Cable Products Inc: Zero

Number of times "monster" appears in the script for Young Frankenstein: 185
Number of times Monster Cable Products Inc is referenced in the script for Young Frankenstein: Zero

Number of children who imagined there was a monster under the bed: probably millions
Number of children who imagined there was an audio interconnect cable under the bed: probably none.

So, as much as you would like to protect your trademark, you also have to recognize that the word "monster" is entrenched in the English language for its original meaning. I suggest concentrating future efforts outside the Halloween industry. Our monsters have tentacles, not cables. Though I was kind of looking forward to having a bunch of people show up to court in monster costumes. I was going to dress as Frankenstein myself.

Note that I was quite amazed at the tremendous support from the audio industry, especially considering I had only emailed some friends and a few people in the Halloween industry. I would never have predicted so many would be outraged in your own industry. It would be wise for you to look into this deeper. Part of it was my obvious lack of conflict with your industry, but I believe a lot of it had to do with the way your attorney handled the case. It was hard to read the initial threatening letter and the filing full of lies without being outraged. If you have not read these documents yet, I encourage you to do so. You should be embarrassed by them. While I appreciate your apology and dismissal of the case, it hardly seems adequate after statements like "at all material times, defendant acted in bad faith, oppressively and maliciously towards plaintiff, with intent to injure plaintiff, thereby entitling plaintiff to treble damages against defendants". The filing is full of lies like this. How much did you expect to get from an unemployed guy with a not-yet-profitable side business anyway?

In any case, I do appreciate that you have come to see reason and are doing the right thing by dismissing this case. As you can tell from the web page at, I spent a great deal of time doing research for this case, many days all day until as late as 4am. I will be sending you a bill for my time. I am also expecting a bill from my Oregon attorney, Anne Glazer of Lane/Powell. I had not yet secured a California attorney.

I trust that you will do the right thing.



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