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McSweet's Trade Mark Application

McDonalds Opposes McSweet’s Trade Mark Application

May 6, 2008

An established trader in USA has been selling pickled goods under the name McSweet for a number of years. However, as soon as he filed an application for a trade mark at the USPTO McDonald’s opposed the registration on the grounds that the mark was confusingly similar to the McDonalds brand reported here by the IPkat.

This is quite predictable, as it is well known that McDonald’s policy is to oppose any food related trade marks beginning with the prefix Mc even where a substantial part of that trade mark is only remotely similar.

Although there may be a legitimate case in many instances for a small business to adopt a name that a larger, more established brand opposes, the question inevitably turns on whether it has the resources to fight its corner.

On the other hand established brands do need to take care not to throw their weight around indiscriminately, as this can sometimes generate substantial negative publicity and damage the reputation of the very brand the business was seeking to protect. The question is whether this case has harmed McDonald’s. The other interesting point is the effect on McSweet – it seems the publicity generated by the case has attracted more business to McSweet’s website than it ever had before.