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Future Enterprises held up by the Big Mac

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In 2010 a Singapore company, Future Enterprises, registered a European-wide trademark for its product ‘MacCoffee’ but this week that trade mark has been removed from the register following a successful court application by McDonalds.

This dispute has been ongoing for years in various court rooms across the world. The latest decision stems from an appeal made by Future Enterprises to McDonald’s application to the European Union Intellectual Property Office to have the trade mark struck out on the basis that, in view of its global reach, Future Enterprises were taking unfair advantage of the repute of the McDonalds trade mark.

In response, Future Enterprises made an application to the European General Court to have its trademarks reinstated. An application which yesterday was rejected when the General Court upheld the view that the use of MacCoffee would take unfair advantage of McDonalds’ reputation.

This case once again underlines why it is so important to protect the assets of your business. In the case of McDonalds, the brand is everything and they have demonstrated that they are willing to take steps to protect it.

So the key question for any business is; what are the assets that really make your business?

Once you have an answer to that question, the next question is to ask how can you protect them? That’s where professional advisers come in. There is an old saying that ‘prevention is better than cure’– it’s also less expensive! – and that is certainly true here.

So if you do want to discuss asset protection – be it staff, major clients, your brand, your website or something else – give us a call, we’re here to help.

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