MCKRILL owner fends off opposition from McCain and McDonald's

Chile

In McCain Foods Ltd v Katevas (Case 623,113, July 16 2004) the Chilean Trademark Office (TO) has rejected oppositions by food giants McCain Foods Ltd and McDonald's International Property Company Limited to the registration of the trademark MCKRILL.

Dimitri Sclabos Katevas filed an application to register MCKRILL for products in Class 29 of the Nice Classification. McCain and McDonald's filed separate oppositions with the TO on the basis that the mark was confusingly similar to their respective families of MC trademarks.

The TO rejected both oppositions and allowed registration. It held that the mark was sufficiently distinctive, both graphically and phonetically, when compared to McCain's and McDonald's trademarks, and would not create consumer confusion in the marketplace. The TO concluded that Katevas had succeeded in showing that MCKRILL was unique in concept and was capable of distinguishing his goods from those of the opposing companies. It also dismissed McDonald's argument that Katevas's application breached rules on fair competition and good market practice, stating that it had provided insufficient evidence to justify its claim.

The TO's decision to allow registration should perhaps have come as no surprise to the opposing parties, especially as both McDonald's and McCain's MC marks already peacefully coexist in the same market.

Nicolle Graugnard, Claro y Cia, Santiago

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