Small Irish outfit wins epic battle against McDonald’s
'Never mind David versus Goliath, this victory is akin to the Connacht team winning against the All Blacks'
McDonald’s has been stripped of its European Union trademark for the Big Mac hamburger after a “David and Goliath” legal battle with Supermac’s, an Irish fast-food chain.
In a landmark judgment, the European Union Intellectual Property Office said McDonald’s had failed to prove “genuine use” of the Big Mac trademark as a burger or restaurant.
“Never mind David versus Goliath, this decision is akin to the Connacht team winning against the All Blacks,” said Pat McDonagh, managing director and founder of Galway-based Supermac’s. “This is the end of the McBully.”
He added: “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.”
Supermac’s, founded in 1978, has about 100 restaurants in Ireland. It has been locked in a battle with McDonald’s since 2015 when it planned to expand into the UK and rest of the EU.
The US company objected to Supermac’s applying for an EU-wide trademark, with lawyers arguing the name was too similar to McDonald’s.
In April 2017, Supermac’s asked the property office to cancel the food giant’s trademark on “Mc” and “Big Mac” and accused it of “trademark bullying” by registering protected names and storing them to stifle competition.
McDonald’s lawyers provided examples to show how it sold Big Macs and deserved the European trademark, but the property office judged the evidence was “insufficient“. Trademarks can be registered at both EU and national level so McDonald’s, which is expected to appeal against the decision, will not lose all protection on the Big Mac brand.
– © The Daily Telegraph