Connect with us

Business

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

Published

on

mc donalds europe EU

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.

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Continue Reading
Comments

Business

SkyBridge Receives “Exporter of the Year” award from Global Chamber Phoenix

Published

on

The SkyBridge air logistics project received the “Exporter of the Year, Services” award, granted by the Phoenix Global Chamber within its annual Grow Globally Fair, which brings exporters and importers together, along with international investors.

The award was presented to SkyBridge, a company chaired by Ariel Picker and directed by Felipe Monroy. The effort to position www.skybridgeaz.com as one of the leaders in the international logistics sector within the business community in Arizona has been coordinated by Marco Lopez, president of Intermestic Partners.

SkyBridge is planned to become the first international air cargo hub to house Mexican and US Customs in the United States.

Its operations are based at the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and will allow e-commerce companies and manufacturers, among others, to do business in Mexico and throughout Latin America, with a more efficient and profitable transport of goods between countries, thorough inspections and adequate security controls.

The development of this project will create 17,000 new direct and indirect jobs, as well as more than 3.5 million SF of development which will include industrial, aeronautical, office and commercial real estate.

The construction plan will detonate other benefits in the border region. Arizona’s proximity to Mexico and its surroundings are highly favorable for business, and they make the state a natural center for air cargo companies, large and small, eager to see their businesses grow on both sides of the border.

In this sense, Grow Globally Fair gives global business leaders the opportunity to see what’s new, who is new and how they can grow better.

With that purpose, the Phoenix Global Chamber awards prizes in honor of the success achieved in international markets and in the United States, whose categories are: Exporter of the year, product; Exporter of the year, services; Importer of the year; Landed Company to see; Cross-border consulting; Transcendent leader of the community; International banking; International commercial law; Immigration lawyer; Diplomat of the year; Translation and localization; International logistics; International accounting and taxes; International finance and insurance; International Emerging Risk; International Talent and Payroll: International Real Estate Leader; International wealth management; International business training and discourse; International IT services; International market; International education; Collaborating Organization; International nonprofit; International business city; an Elected leader with global mentality; Young Global Leader, and Global Leaders of the tribe of the year.

Prev postNext post
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Continue Reading

Business

Axel Andorff and Carsten Isensee, new SEAT Vice presidents for R&D and Finance

Published

on

The Spanish car company, SEAT is betting on the future by hiring two prestigious new executive vice presidents. The company hired Axel Andorff as the new executive vice president of R&D (research and development), and Carsten Isensee has been appointed as the new executive vice president for finance. With both appointments, SEAT is focusing on Innovation and securing the company’s record profit and investment figures.

Who are Axel Andorff and Carsten Isensee

Research & Development and Finance are two of the most important areas on a car company. The new vice presidents of these areas, are both executives with international experience and extensive knowledge on the car market. Axel Andorff will be replacing Dr. Matthias Rabe (who will run the technical development operations area at Volkswagen), and Carsten Isensee, who is taking over for Holger Kintscher (who will be working as head of IT and finance at Volkswagen).

Let’s see who are these two new incorporations to the SEAT executive staff. 

Axel Andorff (R&D Vice president)

Axel Andorff is a German economic and mechanical engineer (from the German University of Kaiserslautern), with 20 years of experience at the car market, where he worked for Mercedes and held various positions in the research & development area of that company.

New responsibilities at SEAT

The new R&D vice president will be in charge of the company’s innovation projects, especially those involving connectivity and car electrification, developing technologies and new forms of mobility. He is in charge of the SEAT Technical Centre, who is focused on R&D. It has an area of 43,000 square meters, prepared and equipped (of a total area that covers a surface of 200,000 square meters). More than 1000 qualified engineers work on this center, using advanced technology (simulations, virtual reality…) to create modern and reliable cars, and developing new car technology.

In 2018 SEAT allocates 862 million euros on total investments and R&D expenses, 47% more than in 2017.

Carsten Isensee (Executive Vice-President for Finance)

Carsten Isensee has a degree in business management from the German University of Wilhelmshaven, and he has made his entire career in the Volkswagen company. His last charge was in China as an executive vice president for finance.

2018 was a historic year for SEAT. Sales have grown by over 10%, increasing from 468,400 sold vehicles in 2017 to 517.600 in 2018. With the incorporation of Carsten Isensee to the company, they expect to continue increasing their sales along 2019 and the next years.

New responsibilities at SEAT

The Finance vice president joins the Spanish car company with the objective of reinforcing the company’s profit record and investment figures, and to strengthen its financial basis for future Automotive (LINK NOFOLLOW) projects.

The car market is a very competitive sector. Last years SEAT increased its figures on sales, profits and investments. With the new vice presidents incorporations, the company is focusing on increasing these figures and securing its position on the market.

As SEAT president Luca de Meo said: “It’s time to look to the future with the ambition to grow”.

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Continue Reading

Business

Gutemberg Dos Santos and Robert Kiyosaki share their vision of leadership

Published

on

Gutemberg Dos Santos is a Brazilian-American entrepreneur and one of the main promoters of the use of Blockchain technology and crypto economy.

Gutemberg Dos Santos and Robert Kiyosaki

Gutemberg Dos Santos a couple of years ago sponsored an event in which the Guinness Record broke with the largest number of people playing Cash Flow, a game developed by Robert Kiyosaki. Today, Dos Santos shares some reflections that emerged on that occasion about what a good leader is. 

A good leader is an excellent guide to reach common goals. If I want my team to work successfully I must share my skills and offer the best tools for their performance. I am also committed to strengthening the capabilities of each of the members and never assume that we all work the same as diversity enriches and complements the unit. 

Sharing experiences. If I share my experiences with the rest of my team regarding the success and failures I have had in some projects, I will empathize with my team and together we will be able to reach the goals proposed for the company.

Listening. This part is essential for a business to prosper, if I do not listen to my people I will be walking towards darkness. I must always remain alert to the doubts and questions that my team may have, in this way I will know if we are all on the same frequency and we are walking towards the same course.

Motivating my team. I take my time to know my team, how old they are, what is their educational and socioeconomic level; what goals they pursue in the short and long term. This will help me find keywords that guide me to be empathetic with them and be able to have better communication. 

Being proactive. When facing a difficult situation, I try to get the best out of it, without falling into frustration and rather detect alternative solutions. Trusting and being flexible. I am attentive to the capacities and strengths within my work team, this way I trust people in order to delegate tasks, likewise I am open to listen to proposals and suggestions that lead us to strengthen our project. 

For more information, please visit : www.gutembergds.com 


Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Continue Reading

Trending