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battle royale (with cheese)

Supermac's wins another victory over McDonald's in 'Big Mac' trademark battle

McDonald’s has two months and ten days to bring forth an appeal against the decision, if it wishes.

IRISH FAST FOOD chain Supermacs has won a further victory against McDonald’s, as a European court revoked its trademark of the term ‘Big Mac’ in the EU in terms of poultry products.

McDonald’s has had the term trademarked since 1996. In 2017, Supermac’s filed an application for the revocation of the trademark in relation to certain goods and services.

Supermac’s submitted that the trademark of ‘Big Mac’ had not been put to genuine use in the EU in connection to those goods and services for a continuous period of five years.

In 2019, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) ruled in Supermac’s favour. The decision allowed Supermac’s to be able to apply to use its name as a trademark across Europe. 

Managing director Pat McDonagh said at the time that the legal battle was “a David versus Goliath scenario”.

Today, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled further on EUIPO’s decision. While the decision in 2019 lead to the partial cancelling of the trademark, it remained still protected on McDonald’s products prepared from meat or poultry, such as meat and chicken burgers, as well as in respect of services with operating restaurants and other services.

The decision today has limited the protection on McDonald’s by the trademark, with the General Court holding that McDonald’s has not proved the trademark had been put to genuine use in terms of poultry products – including chicken sandwiches.

It further removed the protection of the contested mark on “services rendered or associated with operating restaurants and other establishments or facilities engaged in providing food and drink prepared for consumption and for drive-through facilities”, and preparation of take-away food.

McDonald’s will be able to bring an appeal, if it wishes, before the court against the decision within two months and ten days of notification.

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