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McDonald’s Loses Big Mac Trademark Across Europe

January 16, 2019, 10:23 AM UTC

Move over, Big Mac, there’s about to be another Mac in town.

Irish fast food company Supermac’s has won a case against McDonald’s, overturning the fast food giant’s right to the trademark “Big Mac” in Europe.

Following a 2017 request by Supermac’s, the European Union Intellectual Property Office has ruled that McDonald’s had not proven genuine use of the term “Big Mac” as a burger or restaurant name. Supermac’s claimed that McDonald’s had engaged in “trademark bullying” and “registering brand names… which are simply stored away in a war chest to use against future competitors,” according to The Independent. McDonald’s had reportedly trademarked the SnackBox, one of Supermac’s products, despite the American chain not offering the item itself.

The ruling will now enable other companies to use both “Big Mac” and even “Mc” in some cases in Europe. More signficantly, however, the ruling is a win for the Irish chain, which had been blocked from expanding into the U.K. and Europe due to the similarity between its name and McDonald’s. Although the ruling has immediate effect, McDonald’s can appeal.