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'End of the McBully' - Supermac's Wins Trademark Case Against McDonald's

01/15/2019

Summary

In a landmark ruling, the Ireland-based fast food chain, Supermac's, has caused McDonald's to lose its "Big Mac" trademark throughout the entire EU. McDonald's had recently blocked Supermac's from expanding into the UK and continental Europe saying the names Supermac's and the Big Mac were too similar. This led to Supermac's' managing director to claim 'trademark bullying.' Now that Big Mac is no longer trademarked in the EU, Burger King has been having a lot of McFun with their marketing.

Key Points

  • McDonald's can no longer use its "Big Mac" trademark after it was cancelled in the EU
  • Supermac's calls it a "David versus Goliath" win over the "McBully" who used trademark bullying to contain them to Ireland
  • This win shows the benefits of belonging to the EU and obstruction caused by bigger companies hoarding trademarks

Discussion Questions

  • Why would a company like McDonald's want to own trademarks for things they don't even sell?
  • What does McDonald's gain from keeping Supermac's out of the UK and Europe?
  • Do you think that Burger King's marketing move is effective? Why or why not?

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