Trademark BIG MAC not used ???

restaurants. McDonald's opposes this filing because SUPERMAC'S sounds confusingly like BIG MAC. McDonald's bases its opposition on their 1998 EU-trademark registration. As a counter-measure, Supermac's incites a cancellation action against the Big Mac trademark. The trademark is over five years old and the holder must prove that the trademark has been put to real and effective use for the past five years. McDonald's provides figures claiming Big Mac hamburgers sell over 200 million units per annum, along with screen-prints of websites and tons of advertising material.

Yet all that evidence is set aside by the European trademark authorities for being too generic. There is no proof that a burger has actually been sold to a consumer. Additionally, no indication was given as to what extent the advertising material had been distributed. Consequence: the Big Mac trademark was canceled.

We see this problem more often with large companies selling directly to consumers (i.e. retailers etc.) as opposed to through online shops. To avoid this problem, some companies re-file the trademark every five years (so there is no obligation to submit proof of use). McDonald's did this too, but too late, in 2017. That might seem expensive, but it avoids many problems.

Yet it would be nice if the European Trademark authorities would adapt its policy on this point. If convincing advertising material is submitted from several countries, this should be sufficient to maintain a trademark with supporting proof of use (such as statements). Fortunately for the corporate world McDonalds is appealing this.


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MENTOS has been selling chewing gum under the name MENTOS PURE FRESH for several years. In order to protect her rights MENTOS has registered the following trademarks: the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH, the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH 3 and a figurative depiction of the word PURE. Defendant sells chewing gum under the trademark DENTYNE PURE and has registered its logo as a trademark. Infringement or not?
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