On 15 January 2019, Irish fast food franchise Supermac's successfully fought a legal battle against the world's largest fast food chain to overturn their exclusive use of the "Big Mac" trademark.
Despite McDonald's advocating that Supermac's name and its SuperMac burger were confusingly similar to the Big Mac product and franchise, the judgment granted by the European Intellectual Property Office ruled that McDonald's had insufficient evidence to prove genuine use of the trademark over the five years prior to the case being lodged in 2017. McDonald's intend to appeal this decision.
Supermac's victory highlights the importance of ACTIVELY using your trademark even if it has been registered for the exclusive use of your business. This case also represents a clear defeat against “trademark bullying” by multi-national corporations to allow healthy competition and expansion for smaller businesses.
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