Big Mac: a blow for McDonald’s under trade mark law

The Irish fast food chain Supermac’s has today scored a major success in a long-running trade mark dispute against McDonald’s. The European trade mark ‘Big Mac’ registered for McDonald’s can no longer claim protection for chicken sandwiches, food prepared from poultry products, and services provided in connection with or related to the operation of restaurants and other establishments offering food and drink prepared for consumption, drive-in facilities and the preparation of take-away meals (EGC, judgement of 05. 06.2024, T-58/23 – Supermac’s ./. EUIPO – McDonald’s International Property (BIG MAC).

Wow. What went wrong for McDonald’s?

In 2017, Supermac’s claimed that McDonald’s had not used the ‘Big Mac’ trade mark for a continuous period of more than 5 years. In 2019, the European Trade Mark Office (EUIPO) ruled that the ‘Big Mac’ trade mark should be cancelled. David against Goliath, the press reported. (more…)

Consumer rights, comparison portals and paying with personal data: Which new regulations apply from 28 May 2022?

As part of a comprehensive revision of consumer and marketing law in the European Union by the European Commission, and as part of the EU consumer protection initiative “New Deal for Consumers”, it was determined that several consumer protection legal acts of the European Union require modernization and also that the possibilities for enforcing consumer protection law need to be improved. To this end, the EU adopted Directive (EU) 2019/2161 of 27 November 2019. Herewith the directives on unfair terms in consumer contracts (93/13/EEC), on consumer protection in the indication of the prices of products offered to consumers (98/6/EC), concerning unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market (2005/29/EC) and on consumer rights (2011/83/EU) are amended to improve enforcement and modernize consumer protection. (more…)

Litigating in English: Will Germany introduce Court Divisions for International Commercial Matters?

Before the German courts, German is the exclusive official language (Section 184 GVG). The popularity of Germany as a forum for international legal disputes suffers as a result. In certain cases, some courts allow the parties to dispense with the use of interpreters in oral proceedings and instead hold the hearing in English. Written pleadings, minutes of hearings and all court orders and decisions must, however, continue to be written in German. Annexes, especially contracts, must be made available to the court with a German translation.

Despite the high international reputation of German law and the German judiciary, foreign contracting parties therefore shy away from choosing German law for contracts and the jurisdiction of the German courts for eventual disputes. Significant commercial law disputes are therefore often conducted abroad or before arbitral tribunals. Small and medium-sized enterprises in Germany in particular are at a disadvantage because (more…)

Bot or not?

Some statistics say that between 9 and 15% of all active Twitter accounts are bots. Other estimates go up to a figure of 30% of all active accounts. The use of social bots for or in the context of election campaigns in the US and elsewhere has shown the significant impact that virtual echo chambers created by bots can have. (more…)

Advoc Junior Meetup 2017

We at Schellenberg Unternehmeranwälte had the great pleasure to host the 5th international Advoc Junior Meetup in Berlin on October 6th and 7th. Lawyers from 11 European jurisdictions have been discussing the legal implications of marketing in the “new media” such as influencer marketing and of the use of social bots. Thanks to everyone for being with us!