Will McDonalds pay for college

Mc Donald's loses trademark dispute: Big Mac for everyone

Lost brand dispute: Not only the double burger from McDonald's is a real Big Mac. As the judges argue.

Could be meatballs. Or meatballs. Or meatballs. Or meat patties. Or Köfte. But also Big Mac's photo: dpa

DUBLINtaz | From now on, every snack stand can name their meatball “Big Mac” if the decision becomes final. The EU Intellectual Property Authority (EUIPO) has decided that the name of the burger can no longer be used exclusively by McDonald's.

The reason for the decision was an application from the Irish high-speed restaurant chain Supermac’s to the EUIPO. In 1996, the US meat bun fitters had the name "Big Mac" protected in Europe for both burgers and restaurants. After that, they could have called their own fast food establishments “Big Mac”.

Supermac's requested that the brand name be removed. Against McDonald's objection, if Supermac's was called “Supermac's” or even “Big Mac”, that could lead to confusion, the authority granted the application.

She justified her decision by saying that McDonald’s had not used the brand name for all goods and services for which it was registered. The US-Americans had registered “Big Mac” for bread, tea, biscuits, cakes and chocolate.

McDonald's even has to pay

McDonald's had filed affidavits from branches in France, the UK and Germany to demonstrate the importance of the brand to the company. The two-tier meatball has been a bestseller since its introduction in 1968, it was argued. Even the Wikipedia article was submitted as evidence. There is even the Big Mac Index, which compares the purchasing power of different countries based on the price of the burger.

In the grounds of the judgment of the EU authority, however, it says: "The mere presence of a trademark on a website is not enough to prove genuine use." McDonald’s was sentenced to bear the costs of the proceedings

"We knew it was going to be a fight between David and Goliath," said Supermac's founder Pat McDonagh, who was nicknamed "Supermac" when he was a student. The verdict is a victory for small businesses around the world. Thanks to the ruling, branches can now be opened in the UK and Europe, he said. The snack chain from Galway in the west of Ireland, which had existed since 1978, had the brand name protected in Ireland right from the start, but McDonald’s later prevented expansion into other countries.

McDonald’s has announced that it will appeal the judgment to the EUIPO Board of Appeal. A spokesman for the company claimed that despite the EU decision, it still has full and enforceable rights to the Big Mac brand across Europe.