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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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Branding Basics – Quick Tips

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Automated social media, a virtual assistant who can do three jobs at once, traffic continually coming in for your business. These are amazing things. When it all comes down to it, your branding is the key to making sure all of these things happen. Your branding will help people recognise you, and your work. 

When your branding is right, it will give people the impression they can trust you, and people who have worked with you already, or made a purchase from you are likely to return.

So what is branding? Branding is basically your name, symbol, design, and the colours you choose. And then it extends to the tone of voice you use, your email signature, and how you communicate on social media. 

It is a representation of everything your company is And will become recognisable as such. Good branding is vital for any business to succeed. It is how you will become known to consumers, and this is how you will build loyalty too.

Style

Most people have an idea in mind for the style already. And we are lucky to have access to a lot of tools to help us create something that works in our budget. And at a skill level. Of course, what you want to do ideally is head to a professional to help you create the initial logos and colour pallets. 

It is often the case that we don’t have the budget to do this initially, but you can use tools like Canva and PicMonkey to help you create the basis for all of your branding. Just make sure you try a few different colour combinations before settling on anything in particular. 

Try to use the psychology of colour to help you get it right.

Vision

Your vision for your company is going to be the driving force behind your branding. This is applicable to a blog, you as a person, and influencer, a business-whatever it is. Your brand vision will be a combination of all the ideas, strengths, goals, and it will appeal to your customers too.

Clarity

While there is always space for a beautifully delicate, swirly handwritten font- but can everyone read it? If you decided on a pale yellow geometric dear for example, how is it going to look in print and how is it going to look online? 

You need to make sure that everything is as clear as possible on all of the platforms before you drive into getting anything made. And you should make sure that the font that you use is mobile compatible, and this should translate to printed materials too. 

For example, when you are getting your promotional items printed from Dynamic Gift, you’ll need to make sure that everything is crystal clear.

Consistency

You will need to make sure that your logo and tagline are on everything from your social media to pay but invoices. You need to make sure that you double check that even your photos are on-brand too. 

If you are presenting as a bold and bright brand, but your Instagram feels black-and-white monochrome the two things don’t match up. It will not feel on-brand. And this discrepancy will ruin your brand reputation. People need to be able to look at anything on any of your platforms and make the connection between that platform and your business.

And always remember that the story of your brand is what makes you different from everybody else. And this is the exact reason the customer will buy your products and return in the future.

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How to promote your beauty business

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It is crucial to give the necessary importance to online marketing and online strategies in all kind of business. Knowing the effective ones will definitely make your business grow. Because believe it or not there are many specific tools for beauty centers, from creating a web page to starting to work on its social networks. Do you want to know which ones are the best? Keep on reading!

Promote your beauty business

Technology currently allows us to have easy access to unlimited data, because we’re living in the Information and Internet Age. And of course there are professionals who can directly help us. However, we can also follow their advices. In this case, the ones specially made for beauty centers. The challenge is imminent in the daily fight against all companies, which are becoming visible on the Internet. This is why it is never too late to act. Start now!

What can beauty centers do to reach all their potential clients? A meticulous study of each business is mandatory depending on its needs. The objective is to get the largest amount of potential customers, in order to come out in the top positions of any search engine, such as Google. This way your will anticipate competitors on the Internet. It is very ambitious to ensure a global strategy that works 100%. Likewise, it’s critical to know the basic principles in order to start.

Tips to promote your beauty company

  • Your beauty salon name has to be simple and has to sound good. Choose an easy one and you’ll see the results.
  • Analyze other businesses in order to apply them to yours, such as https://activerain.com/blogsview/5468873/four-tips-to-help-you-start-and-run-a-successful-spa-business 
  • Send Newsletters, they are also a good marketing tool. You will be able to send mass mailings to all your contacts.
  • Make a professional web page of your beauty center so that it exists on the Internet. This this way your competitiveness will boost. In addition, your website must be properly optimized to be able to place your company in the first Google search results. Plus, this will give your business a more professional image.
  • Being present on all social networks is crucial, because if you want to make yourself known without them you will be practically lost. It is part of the evolution and the new era. By this means you can share a wide variety of beauty content.
  • Manage advertising and promotions on the Internet. You can do them through Google and Facebook, both give out the best results. A professional Facebook Fan Page is a clever idea, and advertising on Google Adwords too, they are effective and not so expensive.
  • Open a blog of your own company. It will help you to position your website organically on Google. Take notice you will have to post frequently.

If we want to get immediate results, promoting our beauty business advertising on the Internet is the best, as well as having a professional and beautiful website of your beauty business. These will make your business more competitive and it will help your company get good results.

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Safety Matters (Here’s How To Improve It In Your Business)

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There are several reasons why safety needs to be a top priority in your business. The first is that you have an obligation to keep your customers and workers safe. While the second is that employees will always be more productive in an environment in which they feel secure. Finally, accidents can cost your company big in a variety of ways, including delays, compensation, replacing equipment, and even in terms of your public relations. With that in mind, your business must be as safe as possible. Read on to find out what you can do to make it so.

Make sure the physical space is a safe one 

The first consideration concerning safety that your business will need to make is the physical surroundings you provide for your workers. The good news is there is a lot you can do to improve this. 

In particular, being aware of any hazards and either resolving them or signposting them, so any employees and visitors know about them beforehand are vital. Additionally, making sure you have good quality, reliable equipment that is regularly maintained and serviced is so necessary as well. 

Also, do not forget that the structure that your company resides in matters when it comes to safety as well. In fact, many businesses use professionals like this commercial flooring company to ensure their locations flooring is as flat and safe as possible. Something that can make a huge difference when it comes to minimising accidents at work. 

Consider psychological safety and well being 

It’s not just risks to physical safety that can harm your business, but emotional and psychological ones as well. In fact, studies have shown that mental stress from work causes a tremendous amount of absence and can contribute to high employee turnover. These both being things that can cost your business a lot of money over the long term. In addition to that, psychologically stressed workers will be unhappy and suffer in terms of motivation and productivity as well. 

That is why it is so vital to work towards a positive atmosphere within your company. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone has to get along at all times. However, a culture of respect, humility, and teamwork can go a long way to keep people’s psychological well and safety at work. 

Of course, that means having obvious expectations of how all your employees are expected to behave. Along with reasonable and scalable consequences for anyone (managers included) that do not adhere to these. 

Educate employees on safe practices 

Finally, when it comes to safety in the workplace, one of the most valuable things that you can do is to educate your workforce. After all, there is only so much that you can do without the cooperation of those that work for you. 

To that end, implementing a robust safety education program that educates both new workers and tops up the knowledge of those that have been with you for some time is essential. If you are truly dedicated to showing safety matters in your business.

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