Wendy's Loses Bid to Force European Namesake Founded in 1987 to Drop Name

A small Dutch snack bar called Wendy's has won a trademark conflict against American fast food chain Wendy's—halting its expansion into Europe, according to reports.

Wendy's, a small snack bar in the Dutch county of Zeeland, will continue to have the right to use its name across the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, according to NU.nl.

The U.S. Wendy's had challenged the snack bar and said the snack bar's rights should not apply across the Low Countries as it has no branches in either Belgium or Luxembourg.

Since 1971, trademarks registered in either the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg are recognized by all those countries.

Revocation can be requested for several reasons, including being similar to a well-known trademark.

But, a court in Den Bosch recently ruled against the U.S. fast food chain and said the little Wendy's, founded in 1987, had trademark rights in the three countries.

The ruling against the U.S. Wendy's is the latest case where the fast-food brand has been thwarted by the smaller snack bar.

In 2017, the court of Zeeland-West-Brabant ruled that having one establishment is normal in the industry.

On this basis, the court said using the trademark for its establishment in one out of the three Low Countries was still a genuine reason to uphold its registration.

While Wendy's operates fast-food restaurants across the globe, it has failed to maintain its chain within the European Union. Wendy's did operate restaurants in Ireland, Italy, Hungary, Germany and Greece before they were closed.

A branch re-opened in the U.K. in June, after the country left the European Union following a battle over the terms of its final withdrawal.

In a statement issued to Newsweek, a spokesperson for The Wendy's Company said they are frustrated with the ruling.

"We are disappointed in the Court's decision, but regardless of whether that decision is the final outcome, it has absolutely no bearing on our plans to expand our offerings within the EU. We remain fully committed to our global growth plans.

"To clarify, we have no objection against Mr. Warrens' local snack bar named WENDY'S – rather the opposite. Mr. Warrens objects to us registering and using our WENDY'S name as a trademark for our restaurants, and we disagree with this position."

Earlier this year, Wendy was one of many fast food chains that offered a range of perks to attract new workers after they struggled to find enough staff for their needs.

A branch in Ohio offered employees a $100 bonus just for signing up to work as a staff member.

The staff shortage crisis also affected other fast food outlets, including White Castle, which offered workers in the state $15.00 an hour, an increase from $11.50.

Meanwhile, a Columbus pizza chain had a different perk for new employees to sink their teeth into.

In May 2021, the chain gave prospective employees the chance to be given a job "on the spot" and promised them a free large pizza after the interview.

A view of a Wendy's restaurant.
A view of a Wendy's restaurant on May 12, 2021 in Pinole, California. Wendy's lost its trademark fight in the Netherlands.