McDonald’s Failure with Singaporean Trademark

October 13, 2004
McDonald’s Failure with Singaporean Trademark
McDonald’s has filed an appeal with the Singaporean courts to bar Singaporean food company Future Enterprises from using the term “Mac” in its products. It appealed with the Intellectual Property Office for withdrawal of its trademark approval for the three infringing products. However, in its final verdict pronounced today the Singaporean court rejects McDonald’s lawsuit appeal.

The Singaporean Intellectual Property Office supported Future Enterprises by saying the two companies’ trademarks are completely different in appearance, name, color, and sales place and nature.

Future Enterprises PTE Ltd is a daughter company of the Singaporean listed Food Empire Holdings Ltd. On July 8, 1995 they applied with the Singaporean government for registration of the “MacTea”, “MacChocolate” and “MacNoodles” trademarks, which, in contrast to the English names, also carry the image of an eagle attached to the Chinese names.

McDonald’s insisted this trademark is similar to its own and obviously leads consumers to confusion by using its well-established market reputation. In April 2003 McDonald’s appealed to the Singaporean IPR office, known as “Trademark and Patent Rights Registration Office” at the time, with a request to stop Future Enterprises from using the term “Mac” as their trademark.