Burger King trolls McDonald’s after EU trademark loss

By Taylor Telford | Washington Post

After McDonald’s lost its trademark for Big Mac in the European Union, Burger King in Sweden revamped its menu in a snarky hat-tip to the rival fast-food chain.

Imitation, it turns out, is also the sincerest form of trolling.

In early February, Swedish outposts of Burger King featured menus with names grounded in Big Mac comparisons, including: “The Kind of Like a Big Mac, but Juicier and Tastier” and “The Big Mac-ish but Flame-Grilled Of Course.” Other options were even more derogatory: “The Burger Big Mac Wished It Was” and “The Anything But a Big Mac.”

McDonald’s lost the Big Mac trademark after a legal battle with Supermac’s, an Irish fast-food chain (the name comes from owner Pat McDonagh’s nickname in his heyday as a college Gaelic football player.) McDonagh started the chain in 1978 and has faced opposition from McDonald’s over the naming of its offerings, like a burger called “Mighty Mac,” which shares many ingredients with the Big Mac. McDonald’s suggested that the similarity in names might confuse customers. Supermac’s argued McDonald’s legal interventions were preventing the chain from expanding outside Ireland.

But the European Union Intellectual Property Office decided in January that McDonald’s hadn’t proved “genuine use” of the Big Mac trademark in the EU, leaving the Big Mac name up for grabs. Supermac’s rejoiced, painting the case as an example of trademark bullying – when a well-known company tries to aggressively enforce its trademark rights, even in situations where the other party isn’t in direct competition with the well-known company.

“We’re delighted. It’s a unique victory when you take on the golden arches and win,” McDonagh said of the ruling, the Guardian reported. “This is a victory for all small businesses. It prevents bigger companies from hoarding trademarks with no intention of using them.”

“McDonald’s just lost …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business


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