London: McDonald’s wins EU court case. Now it can prevent any company from using Mc or Mac as a prefix on food or drink products. The case underscores the battle between brand names and so-called free-riders who might benefit from the marketing spent on brands without bearing the same costs.
Europe’s second highest court backed its claim to have exclusive rights to the use of ‘Mc’ or ‘Mac’ in trademark names for foodstuffs and beverages. Judges said “The repute of McDonald’s trade marks makes it possible to prevent the registration, for foods or beverages, of trade marks combining the prefix ‘Mac’ or ‘Mc’ with the name of a foodstuff or beverage. Indeed, it is highly probable that MACCOFFEE rides on the coat tails of McDonald’s in order to benefit from its power of attraction, its reputation and its prestige, and exploits, without paying any financial compensation, the marketing effort made by McDonald’s in order to create and maintain its image.”
The US fastfood chain said the Singapore company’s claim should be blocked as the patent office had previously granted it exclusivity to the McDONALD’s name and 12 other trademarks which included the elements ‘Mc’ or ‘Mac’ as prefixes.