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Trademark infringement – the battle of the burgers

burger on a bench Print publication

15/09/2020

Fast food giant McDonald’s has issued proceedings in Australia against the Australian burger chain Hungry Jack’s, for trademark infringement after Hungry Jack’s launched their new ‘Big Jack’ burger. The court documents claim Hungry Jack’s ‘Big Jack’ trademark is ‘substantially identical with or deceptively similar’ to McDonald’s Big Mac trademark. McDonald’s is seeking an injunction on Hungry Jack’s use of the burger name, which it claims is damaging the value of its intellectual property. McDonald’s also wants the court to cancel two trademarks granted to Hungry Jack’s and order the destruction of all promotional materials related to the burgers.

Hungry Jacks applied for their ‘Big Jack’ trademark in November 2019, which was accepted in February 2020.  They then launched the ‘Big Jack’ in August before posting images to its website and social media pages. McDonald’s have held the ‘Big Mac’ trademark since 1973 and claim the Australian chain used ‘flagrant or wilful disregard’ in promoting their ‘Big Jack’ burger.

A spokesperson for Hungry Jack’s said “Hungry Jack’s is bemused by the trademark lawsuit filed against it in the Federal Court, this is without basis. Big Jack is a registered trademark of Hungry Jack’s and it is clearly evident that customers are not confused or misled that the Big Jack and Mega Jack burgers are only available at Hungry Jack’s.”

WM Comment

We will keep you updated as to the progress of the infringement proceedings and with any lessons to be learnt from the case.

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