Wendy’s fast-food chain, headquartered in Ohio (US) and about 6,700 restaurants around the world, has lost a lawsuit that began in 2000 against a bistro of the same name in the Netherlands. Dutch Wendy’s opened in 1988 in Goes, a town in Zeeland, on the southern coast of the North Sea. This Tuesday, the local appeals court decided that she could keep the sect. Since its owner also registered it as a trademark in 1995 to operate in the Benelux (Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg), the multinational hamburger company cannot use it to establish itself there. A sudden stop, at least for the time being, for a company that is third in her country after McDonald’s and Burger King.
The American company Wendy’s has as its brand image the smiling face of a red-haired girl with pigtails – the daughter of the founder, Dave Thomas – and closed its branches in Europe in the 1980s. In 2017, he has already lost this status in the first place and cannot return to European territory. At the moment, it has not decided on the appeal ruling. Raymond Warrens, the owner of the Dutch low-key Wendy’s who hit him in court, also declined to comment. The café-bar was also named after its daughter, mainly selling french fries and hamburgers or frikandels, fried sausages very popular in Belgium. Wendy’s (with an uppercase English comma to indicate she’s from Wendy) was a beloved choice of her family. nothing else. However, for multinationals it represents an insurmountable barrier which is why it has claimed that the Dutch Wendy brand has lost its viability as no other building has opened in the Benelux in all these years.
The appeals judges at Den Bosch did not view the matter that way. In their judgment, they noted that the Dutch businessman “uses the Wendy brand in the fast food sector, which is present on the front, its receipts, bags and napkins.” On the other hand, branding appears on T-shirts and sponsorship activities. Therefore, contrary to what the multinational company maintains, “It is not necessary for a neighborhood canteen to have multiple branches or to advertise outside its area. For all that [Raymond Warrens] It can keep its trademark for Benelux.” The sentence adds, yes, it has not demonstrated commercial use of the trademark with the products it makes and sells.
In the United States, Wendy premiered in 1969 in Columbus, Ohio (USA). By the end of 2021, it is expected to have about 7,000 restaurants, and up to 8,000 in 2025, according to Todd Benegor, its CEO, last March. It is also present in 31 countries, including China, India, Japan, Chile and Indonesia, and has just returned to the United Kingdom. A massive curriculum that contrasts with its Dutch rival, it is located on the shore of the port of Goes, a town of about 40,000 inhabitants.
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