People love filing trademarks. The World Intellectual Property Organization estimates that, in 2016 alone, a staggering 7 million trademark applications were filed. But not every trademark application automatically gets a rubber stamp.
For example, if you tried to use McDonald’s’ classic golden arches for your own purposes, well, you’d best prepare to get slammed with a serious lawsuit (and a hefty fine).
But if you tried to use McDonald’s’ other famous indicator (the prefix “Mc”), you’d be well within your rights.
Despite bottomless legal resources, the fast-food giant failed to secure a trademark for those two little letters – and that’s just one of many high-profile cases.