When life gives you lemons, or a Big Mac, whichever….

It’s a given that, while most of us pick up our coffee and sit back, amused, as the Big Mac IP fail unfolds in front of us, sitting somewhere in darkened rooms, there are McDonald’s senior officials and their attorneys with their heads in their hands hoping that the ground will open and swallow them whole…

Or are they?  Perhaps what started as a bit of a shocking judgement in IP law has turned out to be a marketer’s dream.

Burger King, Sweden were quick to release a spoof menu.  “Kind Of Like A Big Mac But Juicier And Tastier”, “Like A Big Mac, But Actually Big”, “Burger Big Mac Wished It Was”, “Anything But A Big Mac” and “Big Mac-ish But Flame-Grilled Of Course” and so on.  These are all the Burger King favourites, re-named.  A tasty marketing response, designed to make toast of McDonald’s IP muffin.

And even McDonald’s themselves have spiced things up with bill boards gracing our bus stops that ask the question “It’s still a Big Mac, isn’t it?”

The truth is that this is just the latest battle in the ongoing Burger Wars between the fast food royals.  And, McDonalds may yet have the last laugh.  If they successfully appeal the cancellation of their Big Mac trade mark, Burger King may regret being quite so cavalier with their references to a competitor’s trade mark.  McDonalds’ trade mark lawyers will have them for breakfast. 

In any event, if there’s anything that this IP case has taught us, it is to remember to cook with the ingredients you have.  If your gaff turns your burger into a lemon, turn off the grill and make lemonade instead.