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.
US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rules in favour of the Bob Marley estate in the Jammin Java Trade mark licence Coffee Case.
The General Court of the Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that German sporting goods manufacturer Adidas (HQ: Herzogenaurach, Germany) may oppose the registration of EU trade mark applications depicting two parallel stripes on shoes, affirming earlier decisions by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
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.
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.