McDonald's is trademarking the term "McBrunch."
It’s unclear what the company plans to do with the trademark. A McDonald's spokesperson confirmed the application but cautioned, "We routinely file intent to use trademark applications as a regular course of business. We can't share details at this time as to how the trademarks may or may not be used."
The move comes as fast food franchises like Taco Bell, Dunkin’ Donuts and Burger King have been ramping up breakfast options. Even Chick-Fil-A is now offering more unique food products to their breakfast line, with chicken biscuit sandwiches, bagel sandwich and breakfast burritos.
The fast-food giant has toyed with the idea of brunch before. McDonald's applied for a trademark on "McBrunch" in 2001 but abandoned that application.
It may move forward with its most recent attempt due to flagging sales. McDonald's saw same-store sales decline 2.8 percent in August, which was slightly worse than analysts' estimates of a 2 percent decline.
It continues to test more upscale breakfast items, like the recent mini bundt cakes and chorizo breakfast burritos.
Burger King tested a brunch menu four years ago in select markets, which featured nonalcoholic mimosas, a BK Ciabatta Breakfast Sandwich and a Whopper burger. Burger King scratched that idea and in May launched a "Burgers at Breakfast" program with Whoppers offered in the morning.