McDonald’s loses case against Irish rival

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The court ruled that McDonald’s had not proven genuine use of the trademark as a burger or a restaurant name

An Irish fast food company has won a case against McDonald’s to prevent it trademarking the terms “Big Mac” and “Mc” in some instances in Europe.

The European Union Intellectual Property Office ruled McDonald’s had not proven genuine use of “Big Mac” as a burger or restaurant name.

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

Supermac’s managing director hailed the “end of the McBully”.

This is not the first time McDonald’s has gone to the courts over prefixes.

A European court upheld a ruling that a Singaporean company – MacCoffee – had unfairly benefited from the branding of the US burger giant due to its use of the “Mac” prefix.

However, Tuesday’s judgement rebukes that.

‘Deep pockets’

Supermac’s had previously attempted to expand operations into UK and Europe.

However this move was brought to a halt after McDonald’s won a battle over the similarity between the name Supermac’s and Big Mac.

Supermac’s managing director Pat McDonagh told Irish broadcaster RTÉ it had been 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 added.

“We’ve been saying for years that they (McDonald’s) have been using trademark bullying.

“This is the end of the McBully.”



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