Saturday, 25 May, 2019

Supermac's wins trademark battle in case against fast food giant McDonalds

Miami Florida. Joe Raedle  Getty Images Miami Florida. Joe Raedle Getty Images
Rhonda Young | 16 January, 2019, 16:56

Supermac's asked the European Union Intellectual Property Office to cancel McDonald's use of the trademarks in certain fields.

McDonald's Corp has lost its rights to the trademark "Big Mac" in a European Union case ruling in favor of Ireland-based fast-food chain Supermac's, according to a decision by European regulators.

'We intend to appeal the decision and are confident it will be overturned by the EUIPO Board of Appeals, ' they said.

McDonagh says the move will now let his chain push ahead with its planned expansion and called it "the end of McBully".

The fast food firm applied to the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) on April 11, 2017 to ask it to cancel "Mc" related trademarks registered by McDonald's, claiming the U.S. company engaged in trademark bullying.

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"Notwithstanding today's decision, McDonald's owns full and enforceable trademark rights for the mark Big Mac throughout Europe".

Now the EUIPO said that McDonald's had not proven genuine use of the contested trademark as a burger or as a restaurant name.

On Tuesday, half a century later, McDonagh prevailed in a different arena when his fast-food chain, Supermac's, won a landmark legal battle against McDonald's over the use of trademarks. "Big Mac and Supermac are two different things", said McDonagh, 65.

Galway-based Supermac's said it opened the door to register its brand in Europe as a trademark.

Supermac's had previously attempted to expand operations into United Kingdom and Europe.

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This EUIPO judgement means that the main argument put forward by McDonald's is now gone.

"We knew when we took on this battle that it was a David versus Goliath scenario, but just because McDonald's has deep pockets and we are relatively small in context doesn't mean we weren't going to fight our corner", he said. McDonald's had reportedly trademarked the SnackBox, one of Supermac's products, despite the American chain not offering the item itself.

Ireland's Supermac's, which began as a single burger joint in 1978, now employs close to 2,700 people across 100 locations via franchises.

The decision by the European Trademark Office shows how European institutions can protect local businesses against multinationals.

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