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Dawn Ellmore Employment reviews the shock defeat for McDonald’s as it’s stripped of its ‘Big Mac’ EU trade mark

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For more than half a century McDonald’s has been a recognisable brand in just about every country you can think of. According to its website, the chain has restaurants in 101 countries. Its 36,000+ restaurants serve around 69 million fast food fans every single day.

With stats like this, and McDonald’s easily recognised by just about anybody, the recent EU trade mark ruling has surprised many. McDonald’s has just lost its EU trade mark for the Big Mac in what is dubbed a ‘David and Goliath’ battle with a small Irish chain.

How did McDonald’s lose its Big Mac EU trade mark?

When Supermac’s took on the might of McDonald’s in a trade mark battle, it was assumed by many that the smaller chain would lose. While Supermac’s may not be a household name in the UK, however, it’s much loved in Ireland.

Now the largest fast food chain in Ireland, Supermac’s began in 1978 and today has more than 110 franchises and restaurants all over the country. Founded by Pat and Una McDonagh, it was named after his nickname, ‘Supermac’ when he played Gaelic football. They also own Claddagh Irish Pubs & Restaurants through Supermac’s Ireland Ltd.

The EU trade mark battle

Supermac’s has been locked into an ongoing fight with McDonald’s since 2015, when it announced plans to expand into the EU and UK. McDonald’s initially objected to Supermac’s registering a number of trade marks for products and its name. They argued that the names McDonald’s and Supermac’s are too similar and would cause customer confusion. McDonald’s further argued that the Supermac’s brand name is visually too similar to their trade mark.

Supermac’s responded by pointing out that they had happily traded at the same time as McDonald’s in Ireland for more than 30 years with no signs of confusion on the part of customers.

Initially, McDonald’s won a part-victory when the European Union’s Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) decided that Supermac can continue to trade in its own name within the EU. However, it rejected the Irish company’s trade mark applications for various products and menu items, saying that consumers might “be confused as to whether Supermac’s is a new version of McDonald’s”, given that there are near-identical products sold by both restaurant chains.

Revoking McDonald’s EU trade marks

In January 2019, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) made a decision that allows victory to Supermac’s after all. By ruling that EU trade marks owned by McDonald’s are to be revoked, Supermac’s is clear to expand into the rest of the EU.

The landmark decision went into effect immediately, on the basis that the EUIPO rules that McDonald’s had failed to prove “genuine use” of its Big Mac trade mark as a restaurant or menu item.

Unsurprisingly delighted, Pat McDonagh says: “Never mind David versus Goliath, this unique landmark decision is akin to the Connacht team winning against the All Blacks. This is the end of the McBully. Just because McDonald’s has deep pockets and we are relatively small in context, doesn’t mean we weren’t going to fight our corner.”

How the fight played out

In April 2017, Supermac’s requested that the EUIPO cancel McDonald’s trade mark for ‘Big Mac’ and ‘Mc’. The chain also accused the US giant of “trade mark bullying” by registering and gaining protection for names, but not actually using them to stamp down any potential competition.

On its part, McDonald’s legal representatives provided signed affidavits from high level executives and showed examples of packaging and adverts to demonstrate it serves Big Macs right across the EU, and therefore deserves to retain the EU trade mark for that specific product.

However, the EUIPO deemed this “insufficient” in its judgement. As trade marks are registered at national level and at the EU, McDonald’s does not lose all of its protection for the Big Mac. They also have the right to appeal, which we suspect they are likely to do.

Supermac’s forges ahead

For Supermac’s, all eyes are on the future. Mr McDonagh says: “This now opens the door for the decision to be made by the European trade mark office to allow us to use our SuperMac as a burger across Europe.”

A representative from EIP, an intellectual property law firm, Carissa-Kendall Windless, says: “This decision is a significant one, partly because it serves as a warning to multinational companies that they can no longer simply file trade mark applications without a genuine intention to use it”.

It’s inevitable that McDonald’s will exercise its right to appeal, and it will be interesting to see how this David and Goliath battle goes on this year.

About Dawn Ellmore Employment

Dawn Ellmore Employment was incorporated in 1995 and is a market leader in intellectual property and legal recruitment.

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Know The Differences between Static and Dynamic QR Codes

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In the digital age, qr code have become an integral part of our lives, bridging the physical and digital worlds seamlessly. They enable quick and convenient access to information, websites, and multimedia content. QR codes come in two main flavors: static and dynamic.

In this article, we will explore the differences between these two types of QR codes and introduce you to a powerful qr code generator known as QRFY. We’ll delve into the versatility of dynamic QR codes and how they can be a game-changer for your business.

Static QR Codes vs. Dynamic QR Codes

Static QR codes are the traditional, one-time-use variety. Once generated, the encoded information is fixed and cannot be altered. These are great for simple, permanent links, such as sharing a website URL or contact information.

On the other hand, dynamic QR codes are a dynamic duo. The content behind these codes can be changed at any time without the need to update the QR code itself. This feature opens up a world of possibilities.

With QRFY, you can create dynamic QR codes that offer unparalleled flexibility. QRFY supports hosting various types of content, including PDF documents, images, videos, vCards Plus, restaurant menus, and much more.

Customization at Your Fingertips

QRFY takes customization to the next level. You can create custom QR codes with your logo, color schemes, or choose from predefined templates. This means your QR codes can reflect your brand identity, making them more recognizable to your audience.

Detailed Analytics and Control

With QRFY, you gain valuable insights into the performance of your QR codes. You can track the number of scans per day, monitor user demographics by country and city, and even analyze data on the browser and language preferences of your audience. This data can help you fine-tune your marketing strategies for better results. Plus, you can easily export this information for in-depth analysis and decision-making.

Key Features of QRFY:

  • Dynamic content updates: change the content behind your QR code at any time.
  • Content variety: host PDF documents, images, videos, vCards Plus, restaurant menus, and more.
  • Customization: personalize your QR codes with your logo, colors, or templates.
  • Advanced analytics: monitor scans per day, user demographics, browser data, and language preferences.

QR codes have come a long way from their humble beginnings and are now an essential tool for businesses and individuals alike. With the advent of dynamic QR codes, made easy through QRFY, the possibilities are endless. The ability to update content, track scans, and customize your QR codes makes them a powerful asset for marketing and communication.

Whether you want to share information, promote your brand, or streamline user interactions, QRFY’s dynamic QR codes are the way to go. So, take advantage of this dynamic shift in QR code technology. Embrace the flexibility and control offered by QRFY and watch your QR codes evolve with your needs. Dynamic QR codes are not just links; they’re gateways to a world of possibilities, limited only by your imagination.

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Here’s How to Boost Employee Satisfaction Today

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If you wish to maintain your employees and positive workplace morale, it is important to stay on top of employee management and know how to improve the workplace to benefit your employees. 

This guide will share the best ways to boost your employee satisfaction and guarantee to make them feel appreciated. 

Use chaplains to improve your workplace conditions

As a business owner, it is essential that you improve and maintain workplace conditions so that employees can feel satisfied while working for your business. Whether you lack support or have a dirty and messy workspace, you will not guarantee to maintain employees’ happiness or keep them working for your business if you do not offer great workplace conditions.

If you wish to improve your fast food employee retention, it is a great idea to use chaplains as they work to improve workplace conditions and measures so employees can feel happier and attain greater job satisfaction. 

Offer rewards for their efforts

It is important to offer rewards to employees for their hard work and effort so you can show that you appreciate and respect them.

A small pay bonus at the end of the month or taking them out for a nice lunch cannot prove to them that you have noticed their efforts and respect them for it, which will encourage them to feel satisfied with your management.

Ask them how they are and offer them support when they need it

As a manager or boss, you might often lack the time or thought to ask employees how they truly are. You might ask them each morning briefly how they have been, which will likely attain the same response. Many people will tell you that they are OK, even if they are not.

Whereas if you sit down with your employees individually and open up an honest conversation, you might find that they are not truly happy inside or outside of work. If an employee tells you this, it is important to listen to them and offer them support so that they can boost their happiness and well-being again which will ensure that they are satisfied at work.

Support their development and provide more training

Another great way to boost employee satisfaction is to support their development and offer them more training. 

Not every employee will want to climb the ladder in your business however there will be a select few who will want to climb higher in your company which will help them gain more success.

Therefore, to maintain and boost employee satisfaction, it is essential that you support their development and listen to their goals so that you can provide the right training for them to reach them.

Using these simple yet effective tips, you will guarantee to boost employee satisfaction in your company today. Simply listening to them, rewarding them and ensuring it to improve your workplace conditions will guarantee that your customers feel more satisfied and happy working for your business.

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Tighten Up Your Customer Service In These Ways

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It’s always a good idea to make sure your customer service is as good as can be. After all, the better the customer service is, the more profitable the business will be – because having happy customers means that you are going to be a lot more successful. In general, then, what are some of the great ways to make your customer service better? In this post, we’ll discuss just some of them that you may want to be aware of so that you can effectively keep your customers much happier for longer.

Schedule Your Staff Properly

Your customer service staff need to be scheduled as well as possible if you want to keep the customer service as good as possible. The more effective their scheduling is, the more that they can actually provide a decent service to people, so this really is something that you will want to be aware of here. Scheduling can mean having some time tracking for call center purposes, or simply making sure that your staffing is at the appropriate levels. In any case, it’s hugely important to get it right, and will mean a better experience for your customers every time.

Be Honest In Your Dealings

In any and all dealing with your customers, you need to make sure that you are being as honest as possible. The more honestly you approach and communicate with your people, the better that is going to be for them and for you. To this end, make sure that your staff are trained on being as honest as possible with customers. This is a simple step and change that can make a world of difference, so it’s something you really want to think about. You will find you have much happier customers as a result of this simple change.

Under-Promise & Over-Deliver

This is a general approach that you may want to consider if you are trying to keep your customers happy, and it’s amazing how much it can help you to do so. Essentially, it’s all about being careful not to promise too much to your customers. If you know that something is going to take three days, promise five days. That way, when it only takes three, they will be pleasantly delighted. This is a really effective way to keep your customers so much happier, and it really does work very well, so make sure to bear it in mind.

Exceed Expectations

In general, going above and beyond is a really important way to impress people too, and this is something that you should be able to achieve relatively easily as long as you make a point of it. In fact, turning this into a core thing that you tend to try and provide will mean that you become excellent at customer service in no time at all, and it’s amazing just how well it can really work. So make sure that you do this if you want to keep people happy and make them smile.

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