Hard To Swallow: EUIPO Cancels Mcdonald's 'BIG MAC' Trademark

Author:Ms Hanna Haensell
Profession:SKW Schwarz

The decision of January 11, 2019 caused lots of media attention. The EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office) granted the application for revocation by a competitor relating to the EU trademark "BIG MAC" (Case no. 14 788 C). The reason: McDonald's failed to sufficiently prove genuine use of the trademark. While this is difficult for outsiders to understand, it shows the strict requirements that the Office places on the type and scope of proof of genuine use.

Upon expiry of five years after registration, an application for revocation of a trademark on grounds of non-use may be filed with the EUIPO by any third party. The evidence must cumulatively prove the place, time, extent, and manner of use. McDonald's merely submitted affidavits signed by company representatives detailing sales figures for burgers under use of the BIG MAC trademark, as well as samples of advertising material and packaging. Despite the declaration of millions in sales, the Office deemed this evidence alone insufficient to prove genuine use. While written submissions by the proprietor are admissible as evidence, they hold lower evidential value because of the...

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