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McDonald's just lost its chicken Big Mac trademark following a European court ruling

George Glover   

McDonald's just lost its chicken Big Mac trademark following a European court ruling
  • McDonald's lost its chicken Big Mac trademark rights in the EU on Wednesday.
  • The trading bloc's General Court ruled in favor of Supermac's, an Irish fast-food chain.

McDonald's will no longer have the right to call its chicken burgers Big Macs in the European Union following a landmark ruling by one of the trading bloc's top courts.

On Wednesday, the Luxembourg-based General Court ruled against the fast-food giant and in favor of Supermac's, an Irish takeaway chain.

The case centered on a 2017 application that Supermac's made to the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) to remove its American rival's "Big Mac" trademark.

Two years later, the EUIPO partly upheld its case, allowing it to expand across the continent, but confirmed that McDonald's had the right to use the term for meat and poultry-based products.

The General Court said in a statement that its judgment "partially annuls and alters EUIPO's decision, thus further limiting the protection conferred on McDonald's by the contested mark."

The court ruled that McDonald's should also lose the right to call poultry-based products Big Macs, adding that the US company had "not proved that the contested mark has been put to genuine use."

Supermac's founder Pat McDonagh told Ireland's NewsTalk radio that the decision was "a big win for anyone with the name Mac."

"This is a significant ruling that takes a common-sense approach to the use of trademarks by large multi-nationals. It represents a significant victory for small businesses throughout the world," he said in a separate statement, per The Associated Press.

"The decision by the EU General Court does not affect our right to use the 'BIG MAC' trademark," a McDonald's spokesman told Business Insider. "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."

McDonald's can still appeal the decision at the EU's highest court, the European Court of Justice.




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