McDonald's has sued its rival Hungry Jack's Australia, after the latter launched a new burger called "Big Jack". According to The Sydney Morning Herald, McDonald's claimed Hungry Jack's has "infringed" its trademark for "Big Mac" with its new burger.
McDonald's has also called for the court to prevent Hungry Jack's from advertising its Big Jack, and get it to "destroy" all promotional materials with the infringing trademark. This includes brochures, menus, marketing materials, stationery, signage, packaging and documents.
According to court document cited by The Sydney Morning Herald, McDonald's found the Big Jack to be "substantially identical with or deceptively similar" to its Big Mac, and called for Big Jack's trademark to be cancelled due to various reasons such as causing confusion or deceiving consumers. It also said Hungry Jack's imitation was deliberate.
This is not the first time McDonald's has made headlines for its "Big Mac" trademark. Last year, McDonald’s lost its rights to its “Big Mac” trademark after suing Ireland-based fast-food chain Supermac’s. According to Reuters, The European Trademark Court eventually ruled in favour of Supermac's, and revoked McDonald's registration of the "Big Mac" trademark. This ruling also allowed other companies in the European Union to use the “Big Mac” name.
In response to the trademark loss, fast-food rival Burger King Sweden, mocked McDonald's after it recently lost the "Big Mac" trademark it filed for in the European Trademark Court. It surprised consumers with a new menu called "Not Big Macs" for a limited period of time, containing product names that were inspired by feedback regarding McDonald's Big Mac. Some of these included, "Big Mac-ish but flame-grilled of course”, “Like a Big Mac but actually big”, “The burger Big Mac wished it was”, “Kind of like a Big Mac but juicier and tastier” and “Anything but a Big Mac”.
Separately, McDonald's is also in another lawsuit with its former CEO Stephen Easterbrook. The fast food company recently sued Easterbrook for lying to the company and the board and destroying information regarding inappropriate personal behaviour. According to the legal document seen by Marketing, McDonald's alleged that Easterbrook had in fact been involved in sexual relationships with three additional company employees prior to his termination, all in violation of company policy.
Easterbrook has since fired back, claiming that the company knew of his relationships during the negotiation stage of his exit. According to reports on Bloomberg, Easterbrook's lawyers said on 14 August in a court filing that the company was looking to improperly "manufacture claims for a breach of fiduciary duty or fraud".
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