McFamily

McSweetThe US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) ruled this month that the name “McSweet”, as a trademark for pickled vegetables, was likely to cause confusion with and dilution. It blurs McDonald’s’ family of “Mc” trademarks.

McDonald’s, with 35,000 outlets in 120 countries, dates back to 1940, then in opened a family restaurant in San Bernardino, claiming its trademark “McDonald’s” only since 1955.

The fast food company owns many trademark registrations incorporating the “Mc” prefix, such as McDonald’s “McChicken, McDouble, McRib, McMuffin, McNuggets, McFlurry, McGriddles, McCafe and “McFish.

Opponent McIntyre began selling McSweet Pickled Cocktail Onions to bars and restaurants in the Seattle area, claiming he derived the “McSweet” trademark from the “Mc” in his family name and the term “sweet” referred to his sweet recipe.

The TTAB agreed with McDonald’s and states that they have rights in a “family” of trademarks incorporating the “Mc” prefix combined with a generic or descriptive element.

Furthermore, this family of marks is considered famous, causing the public to perceive “McSweet” as being part of the McDonald’s family of “Mc” trademarks.

So no more McSweet pickles for McIntyle. Mc is only Mc if it is McDonald’s.

Erwin Hauër

“Hope is not a strategy.”

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