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Thursday 27 October 2016

McDonald's hit back at Supermac's in row

Gordon Deegan

Published 18/11/2015 | 02:30

Pat McDonagh inside the O'Connell Street branch of Supermacs. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Pat McDonagh inside the O'Connell Street branch of Supermacs. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Fast food giant McDonald's has claimed that Supermac's has failed to submit any convincing arguments that the two brands would not cause confusion amongst the public in the EU.

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In the latest round of the David and Goliath brand war, the US firm said the different legal and factual situation in 1978 when Supermac's was established doesn't entitle Supermacs to expand its operations to other countries in the EU outside Ireland and Northern Ireland.

In a 10-page document along with attachments lodged with the EU Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), McDonald's states that Pat McDonagh of Supermac's does not address the argument that the element of 'Mac' and 'Supermacs' relates to the famous McDonald's prefix 'Mc'.

Yesterday, in response, Mr McDonagh said: "I remain highly optimistic and confident that we will prevail." He said: "I don't believe that there can be any confusion between ourselves and McDonald's".

Mr McDonagh said that the McDonald's submission "is really trying to justify why they are objecting in the first place".

The opposition to the Supermac's brand has stalled the Galway firm's expansion plans in Australia and the EU. 

Last June, Mr McDonagh personally delivered the firm's rejection of McDonald's initial grounds of objection at the office of the OHIM at Alicante in Spain. In its response document last June, Mr McDonagh put forward Supermac's famous curry chips and snack box products as to why it should win its trade-mark battle with McDonald's.

A 12-page submission points out that Supermac's lead products, Snack Box and curry chips, "are themselves distinctive brand leaders" and not similar in content to any products offered by McDonald's.

In its initial objection, McDonald's stated that the Irish firm using the name Supermac's in the EU would "take unfair advantage of the distinctive character and repute of" McDonalds's earlier-won trademarks.

A OHIM spokeswoman said that a decision will be made on the case in early 2016.

Irish Independent

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