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McDonald's has been stripped of its European Union trademark for the Big Mac hamburger in humiliating defeat after a “David and Goliath” legal battle with Supermac’s, an Irish fast food chain. In a landmark judgment with immediate effect, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) said McDonald's has failed to prove “genuine use” of the Big Mac trademark as a burger or restaurant. "Never mind David versus Goliath, this unique landmark decision is akin to the Connacht team winning against the All Blacks," said Pat McDonagh, the managing director and founder of Galway based Supermac’s. “This is the end of the McBully”. “Just because McDonald's has deep pockets and we are relatively small in context doesn’t mean we weren’t going to fight our corner," he added. Supermac’s has about 100 restaurant in Ireland and was founded in 1978. It has been locked in a legal battle with McDonald’s since 2015 when it planned to expand into the UK and rest of the EU. The US company objected to Supermac’s applying for an EU-wide trademark, with lawyers sending a 41-page treatise arguing it was too similar to McDonald’s. “Supermac” was Mr McDonagh’s nickname when he played Gaelic Football in his youth. In April 2017, Supermac asked EUIPO to cancel the US fast food giant’s trademark on “Mc” and “Big Mac” and accusing it of “trademark bullying” by registering protected names and storing them up unused to stifle competition. McDonald’s lawyers provided signed affidavits from its executives and examples of adverts and packaging and its wikipedia page to show it sold Big Macs across the EU and deserved the pan-EU trademark. EUIPO said the evidence was “insufficient” in a judgment, which because trademarks can be registered at both EU and national level, will not lead to the Big Mac losing all protection. McDonald’s also have the right to appeal, which they are likely to exercise. This now opens the door for the decision to be made by the European trademark office to allow us to use our SuperMac as a burger across Europe,” said Mr McDonagh. Carissa Kendall-Windless, senior associate at intellectual property law firm EIP, said: “This decision is a significant one, partly because it serves as a warning to multinational companies that they can no longer simply file trademark applications without a genuine intention to use it”.
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Jan 17, 2019Capricorn (change)
Your expectations about how a plan should unfold could be based as much in feelings as in logic today. While youre always among the first to come down on the side of common sense, its tempting even fo...