Lessons From McDonald's Global Trademark Battles

 

Mahmood Khan, Contributor, Forbes 

Feb 2, 2019

 

Recently, McDonald’s lost its trademark battle in Europe over the Big Mac in Europe. The European Union Intellectual Property Office decided in favor of Supermac's, an Irish restaurant chain, thereby restricting McDonald's trademark on its Big Mac burger in the EU.

 

The ruling was effective immediately, however, McDonald’s can still appeal against the decision. The stated reason for the ruling is that McDonald’s was not using the trademark in accordance with the EU law. Supermac's brought the case before the regulatory body two years ago, accusing McDonald's of "trademark bullying." This is not the first time McDonald’s had to defend their trademarks.

 

In franchising, trademark serve as one of the major benefits provided by franchisors to franchisees, thus, it is essential to protect them from being misused. With markets expanding globally and with tense competition, such legal issues are predictable. Laws vary from country to country, but mostly legal authorities consider certain basic tenets. Franchisors need to be proactive in planning and defending their trademarks. The following incidences provide points that need consideration.

 

There should be no confusion among consumers about trademarks ...

 

The trademark should relate to the type of business ...

 

The menu type becomes an important consideration in trademark protection ...

 

The date of trademark registration and actual operation are important considerations ...

 

more

https://www.forbes.com/sites/mahmoodkhan1/2019/02/02/lessons-from-mcdonalds-global-trademark-battles/