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  #1  
Old 16 January 2019, 04:06 PM
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Default McDonald's loses 'Big Mac' trademark case to Irish chain Supermac's

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-m...-idUSKCN1P92JA

Note: This covers the EU only.

Quote:
The judgment, provided to Reuters by Supermac’s, revoked McDonald’s registration of the trademark, saying that the world’s largest fast-food chain had not proven genuine use of it over the five years prior to the case being lodged in 2017.
AIUI, "genuine use" is required so that a company can't simply trademark phrases or names simply to squat on them. What I don't understand is that the court decision was based on website printouts that, according to the court, didn't show that one could order a Big Mac online?

Five minutes of Google searching showed that a Big Mac was listed on the menu in a McDonald's in Spain in 2012. That probably wouldn't be considered evidence, but surely McDonald's could find much more evidence that a product named "Big Mac" was sold that a few website printouts?

ETA: Note that the case brought was that McDonald's said that Supermac's name would be too similar to the "Big Mac" trademark but the decision handed down was that the "Big Mac" trademark itself was invalid, not that the two names were dissimilar. I'm guessing that Supermac's countersued to negate the trademark itself, otherwise it sounds like the court way overreached themselves.
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  #2  
Old 16 January 2019, 06:28 PM
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Why do they hate America?
Has the president been notified?
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  #3  
Old 16 January 2019, 07:26 PM
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I'm somewhat confused. First, the article says:

Quote:
McDonald’s, which sells its flagship “Big Mac” burgers internationally...
But then:

Quote:
From the website printouts “it could not be concluded whether, or how, a purchase could be made or an order could be placed,” the EUIPO said. “Even if the websites provided such an option, there is no information of a single order being placed.”
So am I correct in concluding that McDonald's sells the Big Mac outside the US, however they do not sell it in Europe? And because they do not sell it there they're not entitled to trademark the name in the EU?

Now I'm curious how other languages play into this. Would it count if they sold a "Mac Grande" in Spain?
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Old 16 January 2019, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
So am I correct in concluding that McDonald's sells the Big Mac outside the US, however they do not sell it in Europe? And because they do not sell it there they're not entitled to trademark the name in the EU?
I don't think so since the article says:
Quote:
From the website printouts “it could not be concluded whether, or how, a purchase could be made or an order could be placed,” the EUIPO said. “Even if the websites provided such an option, there is no information of a single order being placed.”
Quote:
Now I'm curious how other languages play into this. Would it count if they sold a "Mac Grande" in Spain?
Here's a video of a guy ordering a chicken Big Mac in Barcelona in 2015.

Since McDonald's can appeal this, I wonder if they can just present more evidence that they've sold Big Macs in Europe?
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  #5  
Old 17 January 2019, 12:21 AM
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I tried looking up the case on the euipo website and can't find it. But I'm guessing this is just a case of some bad newspaper reporting that's getting repeated by other outlets and that it's just the "Supermac" trademark that McDonald's no longer has. Or never had, or whatever. I'm going with shoddy reporting on this one.
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  #6  
Old 17 January 2019, 12:46 AM
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Their website law search shows cases up to 14-Jan-2019, so it should be up soon.
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  #7  
Old 18 January 2019, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
I'm somewhat confused. First, the article says:

But then:

So am I correct in concluding that McDonald's sells the Big Mac outside the US, however they do not sell it in Europe? And because they do not sell it there they're not entitled to trademark the name in the EU?

Now I'm curious how other languages play into this. Would it count if they sold a "Mac Grande" in Spain?
I was going to say it's a Royale with cheese...
but then I remembered that's the quarter pounder
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  #8  
Old 18 January 2019, 04:12 PM
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Or is it a Krusty Burger?
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  #9  
Old 19 January 2019, 08:24 PM
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Another article in the Irish Times

Quote:
The “big mac” was registered in Europe both as a food and under a category for restaurant names. This meant that McDonald’s could call a restaurant “big mac”. As a result of that, it was able to argue that if the Supermac’s name was successfully trademarked, it could cause confusion for customers.
I originally had thought the main issue was McDonald's wanting to reserve Big Mac as a reference to their restaurant, which has never been used as such. It just seems that McDonald's just wants to be overlyprotective of their trademark.

In Switzerland, it seems McDonald's has not been successful. There is a chain of McClean public toilets and other Mc names.
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  #10  
Old 20 January 2019, 03:48 AM
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That was the original issue and suit. Supermac's countersued to invalidate all "Big Mac" trademarks and won.
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  #11  
Old 20 January 2019, 10:15 AM
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I was in McDonald's a couple of nights ago and as far as I could tell, the "Big Mac" (or anything else I recognise, or with obvious "Mc" branding) doesn't appear on their current UK menu anyway.

It was a bit hard to tell because the only easily-visible menus these days are the big screens behind the counter, designed to sell meal deals, and so they have big pictures of the one or two items they're pushing and no easily readable list of everything. And also, because they're screens, somebody presumably thought they should be "dynamic" and so the menu itself disappears every few seconds, just as you're in the middle of reading it, and you have to wait another minute or so while watching big swirly advertisement-style pictures of burgers and fresh lettuce falling all over the screen before you can get back to looking at the menu. I think I ended up with something like a "big large with bacon".

... Looking at their UK menu it was a "big tasty with bacon" - so still pretty generic and with no obvious "Mc"-style trademarks or anything identifiably McDonaldsy in the name. I was right, the Big Mac no longer appears on that menu. The main "Mc-" things are one of the breakfast McMuffins - I wasn't there at breakfast time - and Chicken McNuggets, which also didn't appear anywhere obvious on the moving menu because I was looking for them, although they're apparently still available.

Seemed to me a bit weird that they would seemingly prioritise advertising their food to people who were already in the place, rather than letting those people know what they could actually buy, but they must know what they're doing. I wonder what their market share's like these days? I wonder if panic over this lawsuit had anything to do with the changes to the menu? I don't go in there nearly often enough to tell.

(eta) The Big Mac does show up if you search their products... it's still in the list of burgers somewhere, but even on the website you have to scroll several times using the arrows to find it. It's no longer a "front page" thing.

Last edited by Richard W; 20 January 2019 at 10:31 AM.
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  #12  
Old 22 January 2019, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
Seemed to me a bit weird that they would seemingly prioritise advertising their food to people who were already in the place, rather than letting those people know what they could actually buy, but they must know what they're doing.
I guess they figure people already know what they went when they go in there but it wouldn't be the first time a big successful company has made a change that doesn't work.

I don't like McDonalds so I don't go in there, ever. It's not that I am particularly healthy eater I just don't think they make good burger.

I have nothing to add to the discussion except to add, as fare as I know we have always had a quarter pounder in Australia even though we have been metric since 1966. I was going to add we got MacDonalds until 1968 (after we went metric) but then I remembered that was KFC* We didn't have an MacDonald's in the town I grew up in** so I have no idea of the menu back then.

Maybe I will go in to my local one in the next few days to see. I can order some fires of something.


*I wasn't around but there was an ad last year telling us that.
**They do now.
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  #13  
Old 22 January 2019, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
(eta) The Big Mac does show up if you search their products... it's still in the list of burgers somewhere, but even on the website you have to scroll several times using the arrows to find it. It's no longer a "front page" thing.
Just looked at the Swiss site and the Big Mac is all over the first page. Even in the Menükarte tab, the Big Mac is third only to the Swiss special burgers.

Of course, Switzerland is non-EU. Looking at the German site, the Big Mac is a bit more hidden, but still there.

And, in other news, Switzerland is still far, far behind the rest of the world in offering variety. And why does Switzerland have the Cheeseburger Royal and Germany has the Hamburger Royal Käse?
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  #14  
Old 22 January 2019, 06:55 PM
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It’s tough to know, but when all is said and done you can count on one thing: many a teary-eyed orphan will rue the day the Mac wars came to town.

Rue, I say! And woe betide the unhappy petitioner, seeking to strike out the mark of that damnable trade, who saddled his people with such a debt as one to paid pound for pound, flesh for flesh, and so on in like fashion until we are but pine-cased bits of dust. Ye, the flesh of martyrs, ground to beef, will be the lamentacious sup of our impending doom.

Villain! Villain!
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  #15  
Old 01 February 2019, 02:03 PM
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Default 'Like a Big Mac But Juicier': Burger King renames sandwiches to troll McDonald's

https://www.theguardian.com/business...roll-mcdonalds

Quote:
After McDonald’s lost its Big Mac trademark in the EU earlier this month, competitor Burger King wasted no time taking a big, juicy bite out of the world’s biggest burger chain.

Burger King’s Swedish operation recently revamped menus to poke fun at McDonald’s loss. Under the header Not Big Mac’s (sic), the sign listed meal options like “Burger Big Mac Wished It Was”, “Like a Big Mac, But Actually Big” and “Big Mac-ish But Flame-Grilled of Course”.
Ha ha!
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  #16  
Old 03 February 2019, 01:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
Does anyone here live in Switzerland who could go on a jaunt to BK, purely for scientific evidence?
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