Irish Burger Chain wins a major victory against McDonald’s in “Big Mac” European Trade Mark revocation case

Supermac’s, an Irish burger chain which in 2017 filed an application to revoke McDonald’s’ European Trade Mark for “Big Mac”, has scored a major legal victory that potentially could lead to the revocation of the ‘Big Mac’ and ‘Mc’ trademarks by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

The decision was based on findings that the global fast food chain had failed to prove that Big Mac had been “put to genuine use in the union for the goods or services for which it is registered” during the five years prior to the revocation request being lodged. It is potentially a big reversal for McDonald’s, which in the past has argued that Supermac’s sounds confusingly similar to Big Mac and the company’s other famous brands.

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Why every brand owner needs to protect their Trade Marks in key markets before launching their business.

The general advice has always been sound – “Apply for trade mark protection if your brand is important to your business”.

Trade Mark Attorneys, Lawyers including Solicitors and legal practitioners alike seem to have repeated this mantra often, and rightly so.

Trade marks are territorial rights and a UK trade mark will neither protect the same mark in the US nor in Germany.  Some businesses tend to forget to revisit their trade mark requirement when they expand from their home market to overseas markets, with devastating consequences.

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The Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA) had been granted a Royal Charter at the April 12th meeting of the Privy Council.

ITMA is the UK-based professional membership organisation which represents Trade Mark Attorneys. The grant of a Royal Charter, which occurred at Windsor Castle in Berkshire means that ITMA will now be known as the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA). The change itself will take place later on in the year once the Charter receives the Great Seal of the United Kingdom.

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