April 2019. It looks like McDonald’s has slightly lost the plot in trying to protect its European trademarks. In January, it briefly made international headlines when it was stripped of the Big Mac trademark throughout Europe. But that’s not all: research by Chiever has found that the hamburger chain had already slipped up a month before when attempting to defend another of its global trademarks, the ‘I’m Lovin it’ slogan.
When Spanish company Belros tried to register ‘Lovit’ as a European trademark for meat products and catering services, McDonald’s immediately filed an opposition based on its European registration to ‘I’m Lovin it’.
That’s when it all started to go wrong. First, McDonald’s forgot to cite the reputation of the slogan ‘I’m Lovin it’, which could have put it in a stronger position.
The fast food giant also failed to prove it had used ‘I’m Lovin it’ as a trademark in the last five years. And if you can’t do that, you’ll lose your opposition.
McDonald’s seems to have made exactly the same mistake here as it made with Big Mac: once again, it’s failed to submit the right evidence showing it has actually been using the world famous slogan ‘I’m Lovin’ it’.
Not a good time
McDonald’s really isn’t having a good time. At the end of January, the Cancellation Division of the European Trademark Office EUIPO invalidated its ‘Mc Donald’s Every Time a Good Time’ slogan because it hadn’t used that for more than five years.
That case was brought by a Spanish restaurant. In this latest case, however, McDonald’s actually can’t reproach itself, since it had already stopped using ‘Every Time a Good Time’ in 2003. It therefore obviously couldn’t submit evidence of recent use. In which case, the rule is that you lose your trademark rights.