McDonald’s Loses The Right To Exclusively Use ‘Big Mac’ In Europe

McDonald’s has had to chicken out after suffering a partial defeat over the iconic Big Mac in the European trademark arena. The European Union’s General Court has ruled that the fast-food giant cannot hold exclusive rights to the ‘Big Mac’ name for chicken products. The decision stems from a long-running legal battle with Irish chain Supermac’s, which sought to register its own trademark and faced opposition from McDonald’s citing potential consumer confusion.

The cockfight began in 2017 when Supermac’s, a fast-food chain established in Galway in 1978 and offering both beef and chicken burgers, sought to revoke McDonald’s trademark on ‘Big Mac’. While the American giant had registered the name in 1996 for meat and poultry products, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) initially dismissed Supermac’s challenge and upheld McDonald’s use for both meat and chicken sandwiches. Supermac’s appealed this decision.

Specifically, the crux of the case hinged on McDonald’s use of ‘Big Mac’ for chicken products. The court later determined that McDonald’s hadn’t proven sufficient and continuous use of the name for chicken within the EU over a five-year period. The passive use of the Big Mac name across McDonald’s chicken sandwiches saw the court handing a partial victory over to Supermac’s.

To be clear, McDonald’s retains the core trademark for the classic Big Mac sandwich featuring beef patties. The company also maintains that it can still sell Chicken Big Macs. The Golden Arches still has the option to appeal the decision to the Court of Justice of the European Union, the bloc’s highest court.

Source: DesignTaxi

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