It was last year that Irish fast food brand Supermac’s trademark applications for a number of food and drinks services were rejected by the then-named EU Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (now the European Union Property Office – EUIPO), thanks to the efforts of rival fast food chain McDonald’s. Supermac’s came out of that trademark dispute able to use its brand name in the EU, but prohibited from selling products in certain categories like chicken nuggets, chips, hamburgers, and others.
Then, in February 2017, McDonald’s filed a 41-page objection against Supermac’s plans to use the name in Europe claiming “unfair advantage” of its “distinctive character and repute.”
Now Supermac’s is taking action against McDonald’s. The company has submitted a request to the EUIPO to cancel some of the Big Mac and Mc trademarks registered by McDonald’s. Amidst claims of “trademark bullying,” Supermac’s claims that McDonald’s registers brand names that “are simply stored away in a war chest to use against future competitors.”
Taking its claims further, Supermac’s Managing Director Pat McDonagh said: "McDonald's has literally registered the McWorld. It is trying to make sure that every word in the English language belongs to them if there is prefix Mc or Mac put in front of it." McDonald’s various trademarks include: McKids, McCountry, McInternet, McHappy, along with SnackBox, which happens to be one of Supermac’s most popular items.
A McDonald’s spokesperson told independent.ie the company was unaware of any new action taken by Supermac’s, adding: "However, as with all companies around the world, McDonald’s defends the values of our brand, including our trademarks, to protect consumers against confusion and prevent others from taking unfair advantage of our trademarks.”