Allowing Supermac's to register its trademark in Australia would be "likely to deceive or confuse consumers", McDonald's has claimed as it moved to block the Irish fast food brand expanding into the market there.
A trademark lawyer working for McDonald's has filed a 639- page objection to the use of the Supermac's brand in Australia.
Lawyer Khajarque Kortian of Spurson & Ferguson, an intellectual property company that operates across Australia, the Pacific region and Asia, is acting for McDonald's.
McDonald's has claimed that Supermac's shouldn't be allowed to register as a trademark in the country.
The case will be determined by an administrative decision of the Australian government's intellectual property service.
In a letter dated March 2, Khajarque Kortian said allowing Supermac's to register its trademark in Australia would be "likely to deceive or confuse consumers" into thinking it was a McDonald's brand.
He suggests that Australians seeing the Irish brand name would believe they were buying "goods and services … either provided by or on behalf of the opponent (McDonald's) or its associated entities or that those goods or services were provided either under licence or with the sponsorship or approval of the opponent or its related entities."
The lengthy documentation filed to support McDonald's claim is largely made up of details of previous cases where the fast food giant has sought to block the use of "Mc" in food branding in Australia. These include attempts by other companies to trade using "McSalad," "McFresh," "MacCoffee," "McSlider" and "McKebabs" as brands.
In each of those cases McDonald's argued that its intellectual property was interfered with, even though it had not specifically registered the trade marks involved.
The case has been taken after Supermac's lined up an Australia-based Irish franchisee last year to run what would have been the chain's first outlet in the country, where it planned to tap into demand among the Irish diaspora.
That first Supermac's outlet was to open in Bondi Junction, Sydney, with plans for a second shop in Perth. That is on hold, pending the outcome of the intellectual property case.
McDonald's has also objected to Supermac's using its name in mainland Europe. McDonald's lodged an objection to the EU Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market.
Supermac's boss Pat McDonagh has told the Irish Independent that Supermac's is preparing its response to the objection, and it would be filed by the end of April.
He predicted that it could then take two months for a decision, which can be appealed by the losing side.