McDonald’s files suit against Hungry Jack’s for ‘Big Jack’ campaign

Two fast-food giants are set to go head to head in a battle over Hungry Jacks’ tongue in cheek Big Jack.

According to a federal court lawsuit from McDonald’s the burger and its advertising ‘imitates’ the ‘distinctive appearance’ of the chain’s Big Mac, as well as its ingredients and tagline.

Hungry Jack’s ‘Big Jack’ is too similar to a Big Mac, says McDonald’s

The suit, filed on Monday, sees companies in the McDonald’s group claim the rival chain ‘deliberately adopted or imitated’ the appearance or build of the Big Mac as well as its ingredients and the famous ad tagline – “two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions – on a sesame seed bun” which has been used by McDonald’s since the seventies to promote the burger.

Hungry Jack’s has chosen to use the ad tagline “two flame-grilled 100% Aussie beef patties, topped with melted cheese, special sauce, fresh lettuce, pickles and onions on a toasted sesame seed bun” in its promotion of the Big Jack. The Big Jack, and the Mega Jack, have been on sale since July. Both are infringements of existing McDonald’s trademarks.

According to court documents, McDonald’s has already ordered Hungry Jack’s to stop selling the burgers and using the advertising tagline, but Hungry Jack’s refused to comply. It also claims Hungry Jack’s registered the Big Jack trademark in November last year “in bad faith”.

McDonald’s has asked the court to revoke the Big Jack trademark, arguing it will cause ‘confusion’ with consumers who may believe the burger is related to McDonald’s in some way.

McDonald’s has also demanded damages and the ‘destruction of all promotional materials’ which would include both physical and electronic brochures, menus, advertising and marketing materials, related to the Big Jack or Mega Jack.

A Hungry Jack’s spokesperson said: “Hungry Jack’s has not been served any formal documents from the court and, thus, is unable to provide any comment at this stage.”

This isn’t the first time Hungry Jack’s and McDonald’s have come to blows. In early 2019, McDonald’s lost the trademark for the Big Mac in the EU, resulting in a tongue in cheek campaign from Hungry Jack’s which used the ‘Big Mac, but actually big’ and the ‘Burger Big Mac wished it was’.

In 2014, Hungry Jack’s hijacked McDonald’s Monopoly campaign, inviting customers to redeem winning vouchers at its own restaurants. Hungry Jack’s has also previously offered discount burgers to consumers who ordered them while onsite at a McDonald’s venue.


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