McDonald’s Wins EU Fight Against ‘MacCoffee’ Mark

     (CN) — The ubiquity of the McDonald’s brand makes it possible to bar other companies from registering trademarks containing “Mc” and “Mac,” the European General Court ruled Tuesday.
     In 2008, Singapore-based Future Enterprises asked the EU’s trademark office to register the mark “MacCoffee” for their food and beverage line. McDonald’s asked the office to declare the trademark invalid, arguing that 13 of its trademarks already contain the word elements “Mc” and “Mac” and that aside from causing public confusion, Future Enterprises would unfairly benefit from McDonald’s reputation if the marks were registered.
     The EU trademark office agreed and Future Enterprises took its case to the European General Court, which ruled Tuesday that “MacCoffee” and McDonald’s trademarks are so similar that the general public would link Future Enterprises’ products to the McDonald’s brand.
     Furthermore, the EU court said that some of the products offered by Future Enterprises — ice cream, muffins and filled and toasted sandwiches — are not simply ingredients, but mirror products offered on the McDonald’s menu and are directed at the same consumers.
     The Luxembourg-based general court also agreed with the EU trademark office that clearing the “MacCoffee” trademark would allow Future Enterprises to “ride on the coattails” of McDonald’s marks “in order to benefit from its power of attraction, its reputation and its prestige, and to exploit, without paying any financial compensation, the marketing effort” made by McDonald’s, according to the 15-page opinion.
     Future Enterprises has two months to appeal the general court’s decision to the European Court of Justice.

%d bloggers like this: