McDonald’s Loses EU Trademark for Chicken Big Macs

In a significant ruling, McDonald’s has lost its exclusive rights to the “Big Mac” trademark for chicken burgers in the European Union. The EU’s highest court determined that the fast-food giant had not demonstrated continuous use of the trademark for a period of five years, paving the way for other companies to use the name “Mac” for poultry products.

The European Court of Justice’s decision follows a legal challenge from Irish fast-food chain Supermac, which has been engaged in a seven-year legal battle with McDonald’s over trademark rights. Supermac, founded in Galway in 1978, operates 120 outlets across Ireland and sells beef and chicken burgers, as well as chicken nuggets.

The court’s ruling stated, “McDonald’s loses the EU trademark ‘Big Mac’ in respect of poultry products.” Despite the setback, McDonald’s emphasized that the decision does not affect its right to use the “Big Mac” trademark for its iconic red-meat burgers.

Supermac’s managing director, Pat McDonagh, hailed the ruling as a victory for small businesses. He accused McDonald’s of using its trademarks to stifle competition and “bully” smaller firms. “We knew when we took on this battle that it was a David versus Goliath scenario,” McDonagh said. “We wholeheartedly welcome this judgment as a vindication of small businesses everywhere that stand up to powerful global entities.”

The dispute began in 2017 when McDonald’s blocked Supermac’s attempt to register its name as a trademark, hindering its expansion plans outside Ireland. McDonagh argued that McDonald’s was not utilizing its trademark for restaurants, thus other firms should not be prevented from using the term “Mac” in their branding.

In response, McDonald’s stated, “Our iconic Big Mac is loved by customers all across Europe, and we’re excited to continue to proudly serve local communities, as we have done for decades.” The company did not indicate whether it would appeal the decision.

The ECJ’s ruling effectively revokes McDonald’s trademark rights for poultry products and restaurants, limiting the “Big Mac” trademark to its original use for red-meat burgers. The conflict between Supermac and McDonald’s remains unresolved in the UK, where post-Brexit trademark laws now differ from those of the EU.

Oh hi there 👋
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox, every week.

We don’t spam!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *