McDonald's Lost Big Mac In EU: David vs Goliath Battle For Trademark

McDonald's Lost Big Mac In EU: David vs Goliath Battle For Trademark

In the EU, McDonald's no longer has the exclusive right to refer to its chicken sandwiches as "Big Macs." This ruling is the result of a protracted legal battle with Supermac's fast-food chain located in Ireland.

Vikrant DurgaleUpdated: Saturday, June 15, 2024, 10:00 AM IST
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The fast food mammoth McDonald's lost the trademark for chicken sandwiches in the European Union to Ireland's Supermac.

In the EU, McDonald's no longer has the exclusive right to refer to its chicken sandwiches as "Big Macs." This ruling is the result of a protracted legal battle with Supermac's fast-food chain located in Ireland.

The General Court, the second highest court in Europe, handed down a decision on June 5, 2024, rejecting McDonald's argument that the American fast-food chain had not proven that it had been using the "Big Mac" trademark for poultry products for at least five years.

Dispute Details

The dispute started in 2017 when Supermac's requested that McDonald's stop using the name "Big Mac," which it had registered in 1996 for a variety of meat and poultry products, with the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

At first, Supermac's application was turned down by the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office), which upheld McDonald's use of the name. But this gave Supermac's the idea to contest the ruling, which resulted in the most recent court decision.

End of David vs Goliath with Court's Ruling

The General Court's ruling made clear that, during the designated time frame, McDonald's had not used the "Big Mac" trademark for chicken sandwiches, poultry products, or associated restaurant services.

The court determined that McDonald's evidence, which included "Grand Big Mac Chickens" display boards and advertisements, was insufficient to establish that the trademark was being used legitimately for poultry products.

According to a summary of the court's ruling, "McDonald's has not proven that the contested mark has been put to genuine use" in relation to chicken sandwiches, poultry products, or running eateries and drive-throughs. The court consequently modified and partially annulled the previous ruling made by the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office).

Nonetheless, Supermac's now has more options thanks to the ruling. The route for the Irish restaurant chain, which debuted in Galway in 1978, to spread into other EU nations is now more obvious.


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