If there was ever any doubt as to the global monopoly that McDonalds has upon its own branding, the corporate giant’s latest trademark victory should put any uncertainty to rest.
Recently, the Australian trademark office has rejected an Australian-Scottish lawyer’s bid to trademark the term ‘McKosher’ for a proposed Scottish/Jewish restaurant in New South Wales. The trademark office claimed that there would likely be contextual confusion for consumers between the name of Mark Glaser’s prospective restaurant and McDonalds’ products. Many establishments in the NSW town of Maclean use the prefix ‘Mc’ and ‘Mac’ for their businesses, but in this case McDonalds made reference to their potential opening of ‘McKosher’ establishments in Jerusalem as a potential infringement of their intellectual property. Although Glaser has distinct Scottish and Jewish heritage – including the surname McKosher in his family line – this ultimately failed to sway the office in providing him with the trademark.
This decision emphasises the importance of choosing trademark names carefully, and to also consider the classes of trademark that clients wish to apply for. Certain elements of trademarks – such as the ‘Mc’ in this situation – may not be similar in some class circumstances, but the decisive factor in others. Large companies like McDonalds are often highly protective of any potential mistakes between their intellectual property and other products, and they’re likely to defend it to their full capabilities. This case further highlights the importance of researching your potential trademark thoroughly, and ensuring you seek legal advice can prevent a waste of time and money!
Article written by Jonty Simmons