McDonald’s loses EU trademark for chicken Big Macs


McDonald’s no longer has the exclusive right to use the label “Big Mac” in reference to chicken burgers sold in the European Union after a ruling by the EU’s highest court.

The American fast-food chain popularised the nickname for large burger sandwiches, registering it as a trademark in the EU in 1996.

But following a legal challenge from Supermac’s, a rival chain in Ireland, other companies will now be free to use the name “Mac” to sell poultry products or in their chains’ names.

The European Court of Justice found that McDonald’s could not show it had made genuine use of the trademark for a continuous period of five years.

“McDonald’s loses the EU trade mark ‘Big Mac’ in respect of poultry products,” the judges ruled.

McDonald’s noted in a statement that the court’s decision did not affect its right to use the “Big Mac” trademark.

But it does open the door for other chains to use the name, including Supermac, the firm that brought the challenge.

Supermac, founded in 1978 in Galway, sells beef and chicken burgers and chicken nuggets at 120 red and white branded outlets across Ireland.

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