McDonald’s Has Its ‘Big Mac’ Trademark Taken Away in Europe
After two years of litigation with an Irish restaurant chain, McDonald's has lost its European trademark on the name 'Big Mac'.
Supermac's filed a complaint against McDonald's for what they called "trademark bullying" after the golden arches tried to prevent the smaller fast food chain from filing a trademark for its name, and subsequently expanding beyond the United Kingdom. According to CNBC, the EU Intellectual Property Office sided with Supermac's and ruled McDonald's had not used its 'Big Mac' trademark in line with EU law, stripping the fast food chain of the trademark of its iconic name with immediate effect. No word yet if this will be a precedent for the company losing its US-based trademark in the future.
This is not the first time McDonald's has engaged in international copyright disputes, losing an 8-year legal battle with a Malaysian fast food chain named 'McCurry'.
Most famously, a McDonald's franchise manager in the late 80s didn't get the notice that a movie would be filmed down the street from his location, mimicking a McDonald's location and having permission to do so from the corporate office. The manager showed up on the set of 'Coming to America' with a lawyer, taking pictures of the McDowell's location and threatening the crew building the location that they'd be sued.
Pictures have been posted online showing Burger King locations in Europe having fun at McD's expense, using the term 'Big Mac' in their menus without fear of legal repercussions.