McDonald’s Loses Big Mac Trademark Battle Against Irish Supermac’s Chain
Irish fast-food chain Supermac’s strips food giant McDonald’s European Union trademark over its globally famous Big Mac burger.
The landmark decision with immediate effect revoked the registration of the Big Mac trademark stating the food giant had failed to prove “genuine use” over its mark.
The decision made on Tuesday followed a long running legal dispute between the food giant and family owned chain which began in 2015 , subsequent to an objection from McDonald’s lawyers for the Irish group’s bid to register its name as an EU trademark. The food giant claimed branding of the Supermac’s restaurant was too similar to its own and would therefore be likely to cause confusion amongst consumers. However, McDonald’s use of its Big Mac mark would in essence prevent the Irish chain from obtaining its name as a trademark within the EU – halting any plans for expansion beyond Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The Irish chain who runs over 100 restaurants hit back, asking the EUIPO to cancel the “Mc” and “Mac” trademark accusing McDonald’s of “trademark bullying”.
“We’re delighted. It’s a unique victory when you take on the golden arches and win,” McDonagh, Supermac’s managing director, said.
It’s not the first time the fast food giant have been defeated in a trademark dispute. In 2009, a Malaysian food chain won the rights to call itself ‘McCurry’ following an 8 year battle.
McDonald’s can appeal against the ruling and have said they intend to with confidence the decision will be overturned. A McDonald’s spokesmen "We are disappointed in the EUIPO's decision and believe this decision did not take into account the substantial evidence submitted by McDonald's proving use of our BIG MAC mark throughout Europe”.