McDonald's has won a trademark dispute with a Singapore rival as Europe's second highest court backed its claim to have exclusive rights to the use of 'Mc' or 'Mac' in trademark names for foodstuffs and beverages. Sonia Legg reports
What's in a name? Quite a lot it seems when it comes to well known fast food brands Europe's second highest court has ruled in favour of McDonalds - saying it has the right to an exclusive trademark. (SOUNDBITE) (English) VICE PRESIDENT OF THE GENERAL COURT OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, HEIKKI KANNINEN, SAYING: "The General Court First Chamber hereby dismisses the action, orders Future Enterprises Pte Limited to pay the costs." Singapore firm Future Enterprises challenged the EU's Intellectual Property Office after its application to register MACCOFFEE as a trade mark was rejected. The U.S. fast food chain argued it already had exclusive rights to the McDonald's name and 12 other trademarks, which included the prefix Mc or MAC. The case underscores the battle between brand names and so-called free-riders, who try to benefit from the marketing spent on brands without bearing the same costs. The verdict can be appealed at the EU Court of Justice.