[Representational image] | Picture credit: Creative Commons

US multinational fast food chain McDonald’s has lost a big battle in the European Union (EU), which translates to it no longer holding the Big Mac trademark.

The European Union Property Office (EUIPO) last week revoked the trademark held by McDonald’s in the EU.

And all of this has happened because a single Irish restaurant decided to take on the burger behemoth in 2017.

The Big Mac trademark controversy

It all started in April 2017 when Irish restaurant Supermac approached EUPIO on the subject. This was after McDonald’s slapped a 41-page notice on Supermac to object to the use of its name.

It may be noted that the objection was over the specific use of product names such as Big Mac and Chicken McNuggets.

Supermac then asked the EU body to cancel trademarks like Big Mac and product names prefixed by Mc, which MacDonald’s had registered in some areas.

It claimed McDonald’s was resorting to “trademark bullying.” It also told that EUPIO that the global brand was registering names that would then be “simply stored away in a war chest to use against future competitors.”

Supermac CEO Pat Donagh | Image credit: Facebook/Supermac official page

EUPIO strikes down trademark

It was in response to this suit that the EUPIO struck down McDonald’s ownership of the Big Mac trademark.

Observing that McDonald’s had not made genuine use of the Big Mac trademark in a restaurant or as a burger, the EUPIO ruled: “It follows from the above that the EUTM proprietor has not proven genuine use of the contested EUTM for any of the goods and services for which it is registered. As a result, the application for revocation is wholly successful and the contested EUTM must be revoked in its entirety. According to Article 62(1) EUTMR, the revocation will take effect from the date of the application for revocation, that is, as of 11/04/2017. (sic)”

Responding to the ruling, Supermac CEO Pat McDonagh told the Independent: “I’m delighted with the result; I was hopeful for a positive outcome – but not to the extent to which we won.”

He added: “It’s been a long road, nearly four years, but it was worth it to help protect businesses that are trying to compete against faceless multinationals.”

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