IRISH fast food chain Supermac’s has won a landmark legal battle against McDonald’s to have its Big Mac trademark cancelled in Europe.
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 US company engaged in trademark bullying.
EUIPO has now said that McDonald’s has not proven genuine use of the Big Mac trademark for any of the goods and services for which it was registered.
The cancellation will take effect immediately, with EUIPO revoking the trademark from the date of the Supermac’s application.
“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,” said Supermac’s MD Pat McDonagh, reports RTÉ.
“The original objective of our application to cancel was to shine a light on the use of trademark bullying by this multinational to stifle competition.”
MrDonagh cited the example of the SnackBox, a popular Supermac’s product that McDonald’s trademarked but does not offer.
“This is the end of the McBully,” he added.
In 2017, a Supermac’s spokesperson said McDonald’s was registering brand names to ‘create a de-facto monopoly in the Mc prefix’.
Some of the ‘Big Mac’ and ‘Mc’ trademarks registered to McDonald’s had included McCountry, McMór, McKids, McFamily, McHome, McWallet, McRecycle, McJob, McChoice, the McNet and McInternet.
Supermac’s had claimed that these registrations ‘are simply stored away in order to pulverise some future competitor’.
Supermac’s has more than 105 outlets across Ireland, around 20 more than McDonald’s.