McDonald’s Opposes Supermac’s Trademark in Europe

By Joseph Mandour on June 30, 2015

cheeseburgerLos Angeles – Fast-food giant McDonald’s is taking action against the Irish fast food chain Supermac’s in order to prevent it from expanding into Europe. For 37 years, Supermac’s has operated in cities within Ireland. Supermac’s has since spread to Northern Ireland and it has plans to open chains throughout Europe.

McDonald’s has based its objection on the idea that the names “McDonald’s” and “Supermac’s” are too similar and thus likely to result in consumer confusion should the two coexist outside of Irish territory. A representative for McDonald’s claimed that a Supermac’s expansion would “take unfair advantage of the distinctive character and repute” of the McDonald’s name.

In a 41-page objection, McDonald’s also stated that the confusion factor is even more prevalent considering both are fast food chains that sell very similar food. In response to the recent McDonald’s opposition, Supermac’s founder Pat McDonagh stated that he believes there will be no issues should his chain spread to other countries throughout Europe. McDonagh stated that both chains have coexisted in Ireland and Northern Ireland for many years, and therefore it is unlikely that complications would arise should Supermac’s expand.

Pat McDonagh appears to be taking matters into his own hands in response to the opposition. He recently made an appearance in Spain at the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) to personally deliver a submission for Trademark protection.

McDonald’s originally offered McDonagh the opportunity to walk away from the costly battle providing that he not seek protection for Supermac’s in Europe. McDonagh is preparing a response to the opposition and has no plans to back down. “Supermac” was a nickname given to McDonagh during his student athlete days and he stated that it is thus not a rip-off from the McDonald’s name.

Supermac’s has plans to open eight new restaurants in Ireland and at least fifteen new locations throughout Europe and perhaps even Australia. McDonagh sees no basis for the McDonald’s objection and is thus actively seeking protection for the Supermac’s name.

Supermac’s is not only a well-known chain in Ireland, but also across Europe and other countries. The restaurant was voted “Top Foreign Chains we want in the USA” by USA Today.

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