McDonald’s Big Mac Loses Trademark Battle To Hungry Jack’s Big Jack
McDonald’s has lost its three-year trademark battle over its Big Mac lookalike burger “Big Jack”.
The US burger giant sued Hungry Jack’s in 2020, claiming the sale of the Big Jack would confuse consumers and infringe the Big Mac trademark.
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However, the Federal Court dismissed the allegations on Thursday. Justice Stephen Burley said: “Big Jack is not deceptively similar to Big Mac.”
“As a consequence, McDonald’s has not established that the impugned use of the Hungry Jack’s trademarks infringes its registered trademark.”
Big Mac and Big Jack both feature a sesame seed bun, two beef patties, lettuce, gherkins, cheese and a third slice of burger bread in the middle.
Despite their similar appearance, the trademark battle focuses on the burger’s name instead of their appearance.
However, McDonald’s prevailed in a distinct consumer law case. The court determined that Hungry Jack’s had deceived consumers by promoting its Big Jack burger, claiming it contained “25 per cent more Aussie beef” compared to its Big Mac counterpart.
Hungry Jack’s chief marketing officer, Scott Baird, said: “I was aware that the name would likely be perceived as a deliberate taunt of McDoanld’s,” he wrote in an affidavit.
He said these kinds of “taunts” were common in overseas markets where the two fast food chains competed.
During the trial, two experts were called to compare the two burgers as McDonald’s disputed the claim; one of the experts is a scientist with a PhD in analytical chemistry.
Experts visited more than 50 Hungry Jack’s and McDoanld’s stores, weighing burgers across stores in Brisbane and Melbourne.
Justice Burley determined that consumers would not experience confusion regarding the source of the Big Jack or Big Mac at the restaurant.
He said McDonald’s failed to present any evidence of deception or confusion and expressed.
“I am unconvinced that Hungry Jack’s crafted the name Big Jack with the intent of misleading consumers.”
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