In opposing the registration of the toy trademark McHugs, McDonald’s invoked the enormous reputation of the McDonald’s trademark. While in the past the fast-food conglomerate sometimes failed to provide evidence of reputation or use (Big Mac!), this time the European trademark office EUIPO had no doubt: the McDonald’s brand enjoys a huge reputation for its fast food and restaurants.

McHugs McDonalds


According to EUIPO, the public will easily make a connection between the McHugs and McDonald’s trademarks. Although toys and fast food are obviously different products, there is also a clear connection in this case: in McDonald’s restaurants, children can often play with toys as well. Furthermore, according to EUIPO, it is significant that McDonald’s carries a whole series of Mc trademarks: from McCafe and McMuffin to McChicken and McNuggets. McHugs, of course, easily fits into that list of Mc brands.

Mc Merken

Taking unfair advantage of McHugs

Therefore, the registration of the toy brand will not go through: according to EUIPO, the Spanish toy manufacturer is likely to take unfair advantage of the distinctive character and the repute of McDonald’s trademark with its well-known prefix Mc. Thanks to the link with McDonald’s, McHugs would be off to a flying start and that’s not allowed.

McHugs for cement?

The case once again indicates that you have to be very careful when using the prefix Mc. But of course there are limits. The fact that these were toys plays an important role. I think if you were to register the trademark name McHugs for cement, just as an example, it’s very questionable whether McDonald’s could stop this. Surely cement and fast food are very far apart.

Bas Kist