Put Shoulders Together for the Prefix “Mc”

Authors: Reda Zaboliene, Managing Partner, Attorney-at-Law, Patent Attorney in METIDA, Mykolas Jakutis, an Assistant to Attorney-at-Law in METIDA

                    Earlier mark                                                               Contested mark

metida1 versus       metida2

On 5 July 2012, the General Court of the European Union delivered a judgement in the trademark case Mc Kids always quality. Always fun! vs. Mc. Baby. The Fourth Board of Appeal decided that the marks are confusingly similar and related to similar goods and services.

It has been decided that the compared marks are similar in visual, phonetic and semantic terms. The prefix “Mc” has a distinctive character and the words “baby” and “kids” are not similar in visual terms, despite the fact that both words are short and written in childlike font. The pronunciation of “mac-kids” and “mac-beibi” has been recognised to be similar; furthermore, both words have the same meaning: consumers associate them with the word “children” and the prefix “Mc” is incidental to Scottish and Irish surnames.

Thus, McDonald‘s has defended its exclusive rights to the prefix “Mc” once again.

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