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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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5 Mistakes to Avoid While Buying Study Tables Online

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Study tables are a necessity in almost every household, office space, public places, etc., where one might just like to relax and read or avidly work on a given project or assignment. Let’s face it, completing tasks within a given deadline is a lot more distracting without a study table present. Sitting for hours on the bed with your laptop on your thighs or reading books casually might lead to back injuries and eyesight complications in the future. Hence it is best to have a proper study table to complete all your tasks and have a comfortable experience. These days, almost all customers have shifted to purchasing study tables online instead of going to stores because it saves a lot of time and money. However, while purchasing furniture online, there are a few mistakes which all buyers must avoid in order to invest correctly and have a commendable consumer experience:-

  1. Ignoring the brand name and price value:– It is really easy to go for furniture which is cheap and the description on the products is very promising. However, do not be fooled by such elevated claims these unknown brands make, because in their mission to sell duplicates of popular brands, they will create a divine image about their product and will rob you off your money. To be on the safe side, it is important to visit sites which are popular and there is good feedback about the purchases made. Try purchasing from brands which have both online stores and shops in the city. Better be safe than sorry.
  2. Impulsive purchasing:- Decisions made on an impulse almost never favour a person’s luck. While purchasing study tables, it is important to consider all possible loopholes that might be associated with it. Take your time to think and make a choice which will complement the area surrounding the study table and also will be durable. Don’t make an investment blunder.
  3. Ignoring the compatibility:– If you want to buy coffee table online or a study table, the surroundings it is going to be placed in must be carefully estimated. For instance, taking proper measurements of the area in which the table will be placed as well as the measurement of the door through which the product will be brought in must be accurate. It is suggested that you find a delivery service which places the table in its right place to avoid future complications.
  4. Not settling the place prior to the arrival of the table:– It is imperative that the necessary documents, books, copies, electronic devices, decor, etc., must be assembled in order prior to the arrival of the study table. That way, a lot of time will be saved and the table will be ready to use sooner. Keep a tab on the return policy from the brand you are ordering your study table from.
  5. Not surfing varieties:- Another major mistake buyers commit is not viewing varieties prior to purchasing a study table. It is more feasible if you surf through the different styles and varieties that these study tables are available in before impulsively investing in one. There are several styles that might suit your preferences like a bed study table, height adjusting table, a study table that can be folded and a light and shade one.

So if you are planning on purchasing a study table or a coffee table online, make sure to avoid these common mistakes to make a sound investment on your purchase and have a pleasant consumer experience.

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The Importance and Usefulness of Medical Posters in Research

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The results of scientific work and research projects in the medical field can be disclosed in a variety of ways. Along with the scientific article and the oral presentation, medical poster presentations are one of the most important and most common communication formats among researchers in the medical field.  The medical poster is a graphic summary of a previous research whose composition consists of a short title; an introduction to the hypothesis: an overview of the experimental approach; the most interesting results, and a discussion about the results obtained. It is also important to include a list of the relevant articles used during  research. And, when there is still room available, it is worth to mention the persons or institutions that have contributed to the work by giving funding or technical assistance.  

Why are medical poster presentations relevant?

Medical posters are an alternative to oral presentations because they offer the opportunity to present research projects or papers that cannot be presented orally for various reasons – for example, if the author resides in a country other than that of the conference venue. Plus, they help to achieve the ultimate goal of all communication in a scientific congress: the transmission of a message by the author and its capture by the audience. This is possible because medical posters allow the attendees to analyze research results at a speed that matches their knowledge and skills, and also because it is easier to remember images – especially if you have time to look at them carefully – than to remember the content of an oral presentation.

In the medical field, posters are a form of communication with great potential because they enable the concise, clear and permanent transmission of their content, without the time restrictions imposed by oral conferences. Medical posters offer the possibility of establishing direct communication with the author(s) of the poster promotes the one-to-one exchange of opinions with a tranquillity that is difficult to achieve in the context of a large-scale conference. E- poster platforms such as https://www.postersessiononline.com/ have virtual galleries where the delegates have access to all the posters and they can interact in the same way they did during the congress, contacting the author, downloading the poster and even starting a discussion in the forum.

On the other hand, an additional advantage of medical posters is that the author does not have to prove his erudition and the presentation does not become a difficult oral examination, which is especially important when research is presented in a language other than mother tongue. It also allows doctors who find it difficult to overcome the pressure of an oral presentation to expose the results of their work.

How is the ideal medical poster?

The design of the poster is important both to attract the interest of people who visit the room where the poster is displayed and to comprehend in a very short time the most relevant aspects of our work. The reading of the poster -and the subsequent understanding of the content should take less than 10 minutes. A poster must be visually attractive and that is why it is important not only to know how to combine colors, letters, images and graphics, but also that it does not contain too much written information: the maximum recommended is 800 words. Therefore, the information should be synthesized so that, in a few minutes, the attendees have a clear idea of the objective and result of the research that they are reading. In this regard, a well-designed medical poster must satisfy the following criteria: Visual appeal, personality, aesthetic balance, clarity in the explanation of ideas, quick understanding of the hierarchy and distribution of the parts, synthesis and rigor.

You also have to take into account the font and size that is used, as some are too complicated to read. Times New Roman, for example, is often used in written texts but is not suitable for a poster as it is difficult to see and read from a distance. The color chosen for our poster is also important. Do not use colours that are too light on a light background or dark colours on a dark background. It is also advisable to avoid loud colours. Another common mistake is to plague the poster with too much information. Don’t forget that the medical poster is not an article in large print. Try to reduce the text and use more graphic resources such as tables, figures or images.

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Karatbars Becomes One of “10 Blockchain Companies To Watch In 2019” according to Forbes

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Stuttgart, June 06, 2019 –   America’s most prominent business magazine Forbes places The Karatbars group around Dr. h.c. Harald Seiz in a new list of the  “10 Blockchain Companies To Watch In 2019“. Joresa Bount’s article presents a “deeper look at the technologies, founders, and companies that are emerging in the industry (…) The teams of these innovative blockchain startups are global, cutting-edge, and typically include early blockchain adopters as founders.”

Ms. Bount asserts that “This list showcases 10 companies working to make blockchain more accessible, prominent and mainstream. (…) Each offers something unique with the potential to disrupt traditional industries as well as gain support from legitimate entities.”

“Based in Germany, Karatbars International GmbH is the developer of KaratGold Coin and a robust gold-linked ecosystem of cross-border blockchain solutions. Their latest product, the IMpulse K1 Smartphone, is the first phone using Voice Over Blockchain Protocol (VOPB). Currently, KaratGold allows consumers to trade or purchase gold on more than 500,000 acceptance points worldwide. With all of the recent talk about Bitcoin versus gold, this company provides the best of both worlds,” the article says.

Karatbars CEO and Founder, Dr. h.c. Harald Seiz states that “the Forbes contribution and inclusion in such a list is a great honor for us. The article shows the full diversity of the blockchain universe – and we are proud to be listed in this series due to our two crypto-currency innovations, including a link to gold, and the blockchain smartphone IMpulse K1.” “Cryptocurrencies and blockchain are on everyone’s lips. But cryptocurrencies are not only relevant as an investment object, the underlying blockchain can revolutionize all our workflows and business processes – even outside of finance. That’s what we and the other nine companies exposed by Forbes are working on every day,” he continues.

“In order to strengthen our marketing activities in this area, we have now entered into a cooperation with the most well-known crypto-influencer, John McAfee. Hardly anyone else covers the market as well – and critically – as he does and so we are pleased about the collaboration on our cryptocurrency KaratGold Coin (KBC),” Seiz tells. “Warning: I work with this company. However, KBC coin is linked to gold in a way that downside is limited, while the upside is unlimited. (…) For me, it is simply a way to protect against the crypto markets’ volatility. I only work for companies I believe in,” McAfee shared on his Twitter.

More Information about Karatbars

Karat-Gold

Karatbars International GmbH was established in 2011 with its main office in Stuttgart. The CEO and founder Dr. h.c. Harald Seiz is active all around the world. He offers a vast number of goods and services around the real value gold and blockchain solutions. In fact, these are the distribution of small gold bars, cash gold – the substitute of conventional currencies – and two cryptocurrencies, the Karatgold Coin and KaratCoinBank Coin. In October 2019 Karatbars the Voice-Over-Blockchain Protocol Smartphone IMpulse K1-Phone will be launched. The device provides highly secure data transmission via blockchain and end-to-end encryption. The company is now the front runner at the market of innovative gold products.  It has more than 600 000 affiliates in more than 120 countries with the annual turnover reaching 100 million euros.

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