McDonald’s loses ‘Big Mac’ trademark case to Irish chain

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The sign for McDonald's in Times Square is seen in New York July 23, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp has lost its rights to the trademark “Big Mac” in a European Union case ruling in favor of Ireland-based fast-food chain Supermac’s, according to a decision by European regulators.

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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.

The Spain-based EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) did not respond to phone calls and emails requesting comment.

McDonald’s was not immediately available to comment on the decision, which the company can still appeal.

The ruling allows other companies as well as McDonald’s to use the “Big Mac” name in the EU.

Supermac’s said it can now expand in the United Kingdom and Europe. It said it had never had a product called “Big Mac” but that McDonald’s had used the similarity of the two names to block the Irish chain’s expansion.

“Supermac’s are delighted with their victory in the trademark application and in revoking the Big Mac trademark which had been in existence since 1996,” founder Pat McDonagh told Reuters in an email.

“This is a great victory for business in general and stops bigger companies from trademark bullying.”

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