Economy

McDonald's Loses Big Mac Trademark Across Europe

McDonald's Loses Big Mac Trademark Across Europe

McDonald's Corp. has lost its rights to the trademark "Big Mac" in a European Union case ruling in favor of Ireland-based fast-food chain Supermac's, a decision from the EU's Spain-based Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) showed.

McDonagh, whose wife Una also sits on the Supermac's board of directors, was elated and said that McDonald's main argument was now gone.

Supermac's managing director Pat McDonagh described today's judgement as a victory for small businesses all over the world.

Supermac's had asked the European Union regulator that this take effect on the basis that McDonald's is engaged in "trademark bullying; registering brand names. which are simply stored away in a war chest to use against future competitors".

More signficantly, however, the ruling is a win for the Irish chain, which had been blocked from expanding into the United Kingdom and Europe due to the similarity between its name and McDonald's.

"This is the end of the McBully."

The EU trade regulator made its call Tuesday after a long-running legal battle between McDonald's, the home of the original Big Mac, and Irish entrepreneur Pat McDonagh, whose chain's burgers include the "Mighty Mac".

In its judgement the Office said that McDonald's hadn't submitted sufficient evidence that the trademark was being put to "genuine use" as a burger or restaurant name.

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"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", he added.

The US firm partly based its objection on already secured trademarks for its products such as the "Big Mac" and "Chicken McNuggets", claiming introducing Supermac's into the market would cause confusion.

Ireland's Supermac's, which began as a single burger joint in 1978, now employs close to 2,700 people across 100 locations via franchises.

He said the decision opens the door for the company to register its own Supermac's in Europe as a trademark.

Supermac's had previously attempted to expand operations into United Kingdom and Europe.

'They trademarked the SnackBox, which is one of Supermac's most popular products, even though the product is not actually offered by them'.

According to the EUIPO, the American fast food giant was not putting the Big Mac trademark to "genuine use".

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