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…)

Impact of Fraud and Corruption in the Healthcare Sector – Implications for Billing and Factoring Companies

Economically uncertain times lead to an increase in crime in general, but also in white-collar crime. Cybercrime currently poses a particular threat to companies. In times of economic uncertainty, billing service providers are particularly vulnerable to losses due to fraud. This risk also exists for billing companies and factoring companies that deal with the collection of receivables from the healthcare market.

According to the press release issued by the German National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV Spitzenverband) on 30 November 2023, the healthcare sector has suffered a total loss of 1.13 billion euros in the last 20 years as a result of billing fraud. In the current seventh misconduct report by the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV-Spitzenverband), the calculated loss in 2020/2021 was 132 million euros, with the focal point being home nursing care, with a loss of 29.60 million euros.

Claims arising from fraudulent circumstances or those that are corruptly labelled often violate legal regulations. Such claims are then unenforceable.

Factoring companies, especially if they engage in genuine factoring, must protect themselves against the acquisition of worthless receivables. This requires the introduction of effective monitoring and control systems in order to identify potential weaknesses or uncover unauthorised activities. Our colleague Julia Bette, lawyer and notary, addressed the topic of “Fraud and corruption in the healthcare sector” in her presentation to the Deutscher Factoring Verband e.V. Berlin on 8 November 2023:

What influence does the current economic crisis have on crime? What aspects of white-collar crime are relevant in the healthcare sector? What are the risks involved in purchasing healthcare receivables and what legislative responses and preventative measures are available?

Our colleague presented a comprehensive overview (more…)

Health Care – A New Focus Area

With a gross value added of almost 364.5 billion euros, the health care industry accounts for about 12.1 percent of the German gross domestic product, and the trend is rising. Around 5.8 million people are employed in the health sector. That is more than every seventh employee.

Berlin’s success as a health metropolis is based on a 300-year-old tradition as a health and science centre. More than a dozen Nobel Prize winners worked here in the past, including researchers such as Rudolf Virchow and Robert Koch.

Advances in medicine and at the same time demographic changes in society require increasingly complex forms of care in the inpatient and outpatient sectors.

The medical profession is facing new challenges with regard to professional and interdisciplinary cooperation. New professional fields, such as physician assistants, are becoming increasingly important. In addition, there are new issues, for example in the areas of E-Health, data protection in the health sector and in the medical advertising law.

The real estate industry, too, must respond to the changing demands of an ageing society and the need for medical and nursing care when developing new projects.

We are addressing these future challenges and are very pleased that as of 01.01.2023 (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…)


Team Schellenberg and friends took part in the Berlin Half Marathon again this year. Congratulations to the finishers (everyone!) and a thousand thanks to all the great supporters!


Brexit – English Limited Companies at Risk?

Following the vote on Brexit, companies in the English legal form of Limited Company located in other EU Member States are faced with the question of what impact the withdrawal of Great Britain from the European Union will have for them. (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!


New Transparency Register available now …

… forcing companies to look closely into their shareholdings.

That is new

With the update of the Anti Money Laundering Act (Geldwäschegesetz/GWG), which came into effect on 26 June 2017, a new public register was introduced called the “Transparency Register”. (more…)