The fast food company McDonald’s was recently accused of of being a trademark bully in a complaint filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office by the founder and CEO of the Supermac fast food chain. The company claims that McDonald’s is bullying its competition by trademarking every word containing either “Mc” or “Mac.”
While this case involves a decision by a European court, trademark bullying is also a significant problem in the United States. Each year, there are a number of cases in the news involving “trademark bullying.”
While some individuals view this type of behavior as merely adequate enforcement of an individual’s trademark rights, other individuals feel that this type of behavior goes beyond the reasonable bounds of trademark protection.