McDonald’s has lost its European trademark rights for its Big Mac burger after a legal battle with Irish chain Supermac’s ended last week.
Supermac’s brought a case against McDonald’s to the EU Intellectual Property Office two years ago, accusing the fast-food chain of “trademark bullying” to stop Supermac’s from trademarking its own name in the EU, which would allow it to expand beyond Ireland and Northern Ireland.
McDonald’s said Supermac’s name was too close to their Big Mac trademark and would confuse the public. They provided signed affidavits from its executives and examples of adverts and packaging to defend its pan-EU trademark. However, EU regulators ruled that McDonald’s had not proven genuine use of the “Big Mac” trademark over the five years prior to the case application in 2017, and so was not using the trademark according to EU law.
The ruling takes effect immediately, but McDonald’s plan to appeal the decision.