Two “frustrated” dads from Bucks have gone head-to-head with a US energy drink giant in a "David and Goliath" battle to save their start-up pizza company.

Monsta Pizza, based in Wendover, has been taken to court by Monster Energy after the conglomerate “aggressively” pursued the travelling pizzeria – which has been seen at a number of food and drinks markets and festivals around south Bucks, including Marlow and High Wycombe – for a year over the use of the word ‘monster’ in its name.

And co-founder Chris Dominey, known as Dom, said the expensive legal costs are threatening to sink their business.

He said: “They are trying to stop us having any ownership of our name and forcing us to cease using it and our logo, by taking us through very expensive legal proceedings which has sunk many a small business before us.

“Monster Energy Drinks are renowned amongst the legal world for doing this and have made many small businesses go under.

“So far this has cost us a fortune and could potentially cost more. Too much for us to survive.

“We are just two dads from a village in Bucks who got frustrated with the lack of quality restaurants available to our children and so we created Monsta Pizza.

“It’s a brand based around our monster-shaped oven, a character we designed to appeal to families and to tell our story.

“We exist to inspire children, to educate them about good food and to provide a quality eating experience for families.

“We are the complete opposite of Monster Energy Drink, which is why we feel this in unfair.”

The small firm was taken to court by the giant, with a hearing last Thursday determining whether it can keep its name and logo.

It can take up to two weeks to get a decision, Mr Dominey said.

He added: “When they first got in touch a year ago I didn’t even twig who it was.

“Then I just thought that it was an automated message and they wouldn’t go anywhere with it.

“We kept offering to settle – we told them we wouldn’t have a monster claw on our ‘m’, the spelling is different, it’s nothing to do with energy drinks – but they didn’t want to.

“What they are trying to do is actually gain ownership of a commonly used word.

“We are trying to start up something new and it is hard enough – I’ve got a massive mortgage and three kids. It’s been pretty stressful.

“We pride ourselves on inspiring children, so standing up to a bully seems only the right thing to do.”

Monster Energy did not respond to requests for comment.