Mac attack: Supermac’s attempts to curb McDonald’s trademark dominance

Pat and Úna McDonagh and team celebrating The Galway Plaza’s first birthday in Kiltullagh last month. The MD is now hoping to secure a number of trademark cancellations against McDonald's

Supermac's challenges McDonald's at the EUIPO over 'Mc' trademarks



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13 April 2017

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Ireland’s largest indigenous fast-food chain, Supermac’s, has submitted a request to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) to cancel the use of the ‘Big Mac’ and ‘Mc’ trademarks in certain classes.

Speaking on yesterday’s Drivetime, Supermac’s founder and managing director Pat McDonagh said that: “In Ireland, McDonald’s has an excess of 300 trademarks with the word ‘Mc’ or ‘Mac’ in it.

“We’re trying to protect our business, and secure our right to trade. In registering the trademark ‘snackbox’ which has been synonymous with Supermac’s over the 40 years we’ve been in existence, that was a step too far.

We are protecting our business going forward and the names are being registered, not because they are being used, but to protect themselves and monopolise the whole trademark system.” added McDonagh.

“At the moment we are only looking for two [trademark cancellations] to test the waters and we are very confident that we will succeed in those.

“Whilst they can be used as a product; they can’t be used as a brand name that they’re trading under, so as such, we are quite confident the EU will listen to us and that we will be successful,” he said.

McDonagh claimed that McDonald’s currently owns the trademark to “McSnack, McBox, McBreakfast, McNoodles” to name a few. Current EU law states that if a trademark isn’t used within five years then the trademark is forfeited.

McDonagh’s hopes to expand the reach of Supermac’s will depend on the success of his application to the EUIPO. McDonald’s will be given time to reply and appeal the request which means the matter could possibly run into next year, according to McDonagh.

“We’re from the west of Ireland, we started off small, and sometimes you have to take on the giant to continue in business, because otherwise they would try wipe you out”, he concluded.



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