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McDonald’s loses major legal battle 

McDonald’s loses major legal battle

An Irish fast-food company has won a trademark case against McDonald’s over the use of the name ‘Big Mac’ – one of McDonald’s most popular menu items.

The European Court of Justice ruled that McDonald’s cannot use the trademark for poultry products.

McDonald’s had registered the name in the European Union in 1996, but in 2017, Supermac’s applied to the EU Intellectual Property Office to have it revoked.

Supermac’s argued that McDonald’s had not made genuine use of the trademark in the past five years. In 2019, the court partially ruled in Supermac’s favor, revoking McDonald’s registration of the Big Mac trademark except for poultry products.

Supermac’s challenged this exception, and the European Court of Justice ruled in their favor.

Supermac’s managing director Pat McDonagh said, “This is a significant ruling that takes a common-sense approach to the use of trademarks by large multinationals. It represents a significant victory for small businesses throughout the world.

“We knew when we took on this battle that it was a David versus Goliath scenario. The original objective of our application to cancel was to shine a light on the use of trademark bullying by this multinational to stifle competition. We have been saying for years that they have been using trademark bullying. They trademarked the SnackBox, which is one of Supermac’s most popular products, even though the product is not actually offered by them.

“We can be proud to be part of a Europe in which all are equal. Small is no longer a disadvantage.

“We wholeheartedly welcome this judgment as a vindication of small businesses everywhere that stand up to powerful global entities.”



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