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Supermac's founder Pat McDonagh said he's still optimistic the group will overcome trademark objections from global giant McDonald's

Supermac's founder Pat McDonagh said he's still optimistic the group will overcome trademark objections from global giant McDonald's

Supermac's founder Pat McDonagh said he's still optimistic the group will overcome trademark objections from global giant McDonald's

Supermac's founder Pat McDonagh said he's still optimistic the group will overcome trademark objections from global giant McDonald's as the pair battle each other on two continents.

McDonald's is trying to block Supermac's from using the name in mainland Europe and Australia, having launched legal salvoes against the Irish firm over the past year.

In Australia, McDonald's was due to file full evidence by March 2 to back up its claim that Supermac's shouldn't be allowed to register that trademark in the country. However, according to an Australian government intellectual property service, McDonald's has still not filed that supporting evidence.

Supermac's had lined up an Australia-based Irish franchisee last year to run what would have been the chain's first outlet in the country. Thousands of Irish people have emigrated to Australia in the past number of years, boosting demand for home-grown brands and products. That first Supermac's outlet was slated to open in Bondi Junction, Sydney.

Mr McDonagh also had plans for another store in Perth, but the outlets are now on hold.

Last month, McDonald's also objected to Supermac's using that name on mainland Europe. McDonald's lodged an objection to the EU Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market.

McDonald's claimed that using the Supermac's name in the EU would "take unfair advantage of the distinctive character and repute of" McDonald's earlier-won trademarks.

Mr McDonagh told the Irish Independent that Supermac's is currently preparing its response to the McDonald's objection, and that it would be filed by the end of April.

He predicted that it could take two months before a decision is then made over the rights to use the Supermac's name. It's likely that an outcome in favour of either side could be appealed.

Supermac's - with total annual revenues of over €130m between company-owned and franchised stores - has been a big success for Mr McDonagh and his wife Una since he opened his first outlet, in Ballinasloe, Co Galway, in 1978.

Accounts for Supermac's, which includes all his businesses in Ireland, show that revenue jumped 10pc to just under €80m in 2013, while pre-tax profit soared 40pc to €7.4m.

The core restaurant business accounted for about €60m of that turnover. It's generated from company-owned outlets and fees paid by franchisees.

McDonald's has been battling a decline in sales. This week it promised that it would remake itself as a "modern, progressive burger company".

Irish Independent