Marks that McDonald’s Was Not Able to Secure

Marks that McDonald’s Was Not Able to Secure

Originally posted 2016-09-19 10:57:17

By Chloe Coska |

archFollowing the news of McDonald’s seeking to secure the term “McBrunch”, we thought in order to have a better understanding of McDonald’s interests at large, to do a post about  the marks the company has tried to secure over the years.

The July application for “McBrunch” is not the firm’s first attempt to secure trademark protection. The company first attempted to secure the term “McBrunch” back to 2001.  Second, “McBrunch” is not the only term the fast food chain has tried to secure.

In the increasing competition between the fast food giants, the trademark race is crucial. The fast food market generated approximately $191 billion in 2013 and the breakfast market is estimated at $50 billion a year. Those numbers can turn one’s head but the financial issues that are hidden behind them are immense.

In the past 40 years, McDonald’s has filed applications to secure trademark protection in order to have a controlling hand on the fast food market. The firm first filed a trademark application on the mark “McDonald’s” on May 4, 1961. From general trademarks like slogans to menu items, the McDonald’s has tried to secure and has secured at least 60 marks.  As for the “Mc”, according to the USPTO database, there are at least 20 applications.

The first attempt found in the database dated from July 22, 1971 with “McDonaldland” which was a fantasy word used to market McDonald’s restaurants. In 1977, the firm attempted to register the menu item “McMuffin” but the application was cancelled, and in 1984, the firm filed again and registered the mark.

The firm has several menu items that have trademark protection such as “McChicken,” “McNugget” and “McNuggets,” “Egg White Delight,” and “Sausage McMuffin.” The firm counts several failure such as “Bacon McMuffin” (cancelled in 1992). “Spanish Omelette McMuffin” was cancelled in 2006; “McGrilled Chicken Classic” was cancelled in 2002;  “McGrilled Chicken” was cancelled in 2005.

McDonald’s is not the first firm to try and snatch the brunch market. Its rival Burger King  has previously tried brunch menu items, which included a breakfast and lunch option. However, the attempt was not very successful. McDonald’s now has a possible advantage of snatching the market as few chains sell breakfast later in the morning and early in the afternoon. Even fewer do it on the weekends when the demand is the highest.


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