In a significant move in the ongoing trademark dispute between Supermac’s and fast food giant McDonald’s, Supermac’s has asked the EU regulator to cancel the use of the Big Mac trademark registered by McDonald’s under certain classes. The request has been formally submitted to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO ) by Supermac’s which has asked that it take effect immediately on the basis that McDonald’s is engaged in trademark bullying.
Supermacs feel the international fast food giant is registering brand names which are nothing to do with their core business, that they do not use and which are simply stored away in order to “pulverize some future competitor just as this corporate giant has already tried with Supermac’s.”
In an application to the EU trademark office on Tuesday, the Irish-owned family restaurant group has issued a formal trademark cancellation demand on the use of the Big Mac and Mc trademarks that McDonald’s has registered under certain classes. McDonald’s has also registered a wide variety of words with the Mc prefix including McCountry and the word MAC as well as McKids, McFamily, McHome, McWallet, McRecycle, McJob, McChoice, the McNet and McInternet.
Supermac’s points out that the multinational has trademarked these words in an attempt to suppress any potential competition and that this amounts to nothing more than trademark bullying.
“McDonald’s are trying to try and create a de-facto monopoly in the Mc prefix, not only for food and restaurant services but also for the McInternet, the McCountry and even your McKids,” according to a statement from Supermacs.
The founder and Managing Director of Supermac’s Ireland Ltd, 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. They have trademarked words like McKids, McFamily, McCountry, McWorld, McJob and McInternet in order to, over time, squeeze out smaller family-based businesses. This means that if any McGrath, McCarthy or McDermott with a business idea uses their name in the title of that business or product the chances are McDonald’s already own the trademark and you can probably expect a knock on the door from them,” Mr. McDonagh said.
“McDonald’s has trademarked the SnackBox,” he said “a product that is synonymous with Supermac’s. McDonald’s do not offer this product and it doesn’t contain a Mc or a MAC so why would McDonald’s trademark it unless it wants to come knocking on our door again to tell us that we have to stop selling a product that we so obviously own?”
“We have had enough of this trademark bullying and thankfully a mechanism exists whereby we can demand that McDonald’s will have to cancel trademarks that they are warehousing as ammunition in a future trade war. The tactic of trying to take ownership of everything that begins with Mc is corporate colonialism,” he said.
Pat McDonagh praised European structures which he said would prevent further bullying. He said that it was urgent that this matter was dealt with prior to McDonald’s move from the EU into Britain - a move which they have just flagged. He said he would protect the Supermac’s business and the livelihoods of those who work for the company and the communities of which Supermac’s is an integral part. “McDonald’s should no longer be allowed to use its deep pockets to threaten that,” Mr McDonagh concluded.