It is impossible from now on to use the terms « Mac » or « Mc » to designate food products or drinks : the Court of the European Union has recently confirmed the renown of McDonalds' trademarks, enabling the American company to object to trademark registrations which combine the said prefixes
above- mentioned (TUE, July 5 2016, T-518/13).
In this particular case, a Singapore company had registratered an European trademark “MACCOFFEE” for food products and drinks. McDonald’s then applied for the nullity of this trademark raising previous trademarks held for fast food services and which incorporated the prefixes « Mc » or « Mac ».
The European Office granted McDonald’s request and the Singapore company consequently referred to the European Union Court for cancellation for such decision.
The Court confirms the invalidity of the contested mark considering that the trademark McDonalds enjoyed a long lasting recognition for its fast food services and that the relevant public would necessarily make a link between the two marks, especially since the trademark MACCOFFEE replicated the same structure than the family of the marks « Mc » and « Mac ». The Court therefore decided that the use without due cause of the trademark would take unfair advantage of McDonald's marks 'reputation.
Pursuant to this decision, the fast food famous company thereby becomes the only one to be able to use the prefix « Mc » or « Mac » to designate food products and services as well as drinks.
well as drinks. welel well as drinks.