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McDonald's has its 'Big Mac' trademark registration revoked in EU ruling

Fast food giant McDonald's had had its registration of the trademark "Big Mac" revoked in a ruling by European regulators in favour of Ireland-based fast-food chain Supermac's.

The EU Intellectual Property Office said McDonald's, the world's largest fast-food chain, had not proven genuine use of the "Big Mac" trademark over the five years prior to the case being lodged in 2017, news agency Reuters reports.

The ruling means other companies as well as McDonald's may use the "Big Mac" name in the EU.

Supermac's said it can now expand in the United Kingdom and Europe. 

It said it had never had a product called "Big Mac" but that McDonald's had used the similarity of the two names to block the Irish chain's expansion.

A law professor at the University of Connecticut, Willajeanne McLean, told Reuters McDonald's has historically been "extremely litigious" in the area of trademark law and typically does not lose.

The report notes that In 1993, McDonald's won a court order blocking a dentist in New York from selling services under the name "McDental".

And In 2016, McDonald's defeated a bid by a Singapore company to register 'MACCOFFEE' as an EU trademark.

"Coverack, United Kingdom - November 20, 2012: McDonalds Big Mac carton isolated on white. McDonalds is a world famous supplier of fast food products."
McDonald's Big Mac (file picture). Source: istock.com