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Supermacs V Big Mac ... not loving it


Pat McDonagh

Pat McDonagh

Pat McDonagh

Everyone loves a good David and Goliath story, and when the seemingly insurmountable odds of the former are borne by an Irish company, then our interest is piqued even more.

The story of an impending battle between Ireland's fast-food emporium, Supermacs, and worldwide food behemoth, McDonalds seems, at first blush, like an extraordinary one. But according to court documents, the latter are attempting to block Supermacs from registering their trademark, and opening stores in Australia, as they feel that it will damage their business due to potential confusion amongst customers.

There are, of course, two ways of looking at this story. On the one hand, as Supermacs founder Pat McDonagh points out, he should legitimately be allowed to trademark Supermacs, as "I was born with this name, so I hope common sense will prevail".And with the Irish chain being but a tiny player in the fast food market - its annual turnover is about €100m a year, compared to McDonalds' €5.7 billion - it is hard not to see this as nothing short of bullying on the part of the US giant.

On the one hand, perhaps McDonalds have a point.

After all, if your IQ is low enough to consider burgers, fries and milk shakes to be a suitable diet, then you probably could well believe that Supermacs and McDonalds are the same company.