McDonald’s Loses Big Mac Trademark Battle to Irish Rival Supermac’s


In a stunning turn of events, McDonald’s, the beloved American fast food titan, has lost a European Union trademark dispute surrounding the iconic Big Mac moniker. The situation came to a head when the EU General Court gave its endorsement to Irish fast food competitor, Supermac’s, concluding a protracted legal battle that has been simmering for years.

The court ruled that the American fast food colossus failed to demonstrate genuine usage of the Big Mac label over a five-year span for poultry-based products, chicken sandwiches, and restaurants. This result isn’t just a case of playing the name game; it’s a landmark decision that throws open the gates for Supermac’s growth into other European nations.

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This wrangle found its roots when Supermac’s embarked on establishing its brand name within the EU massive market during its advancement plans. In response, McDonald’s objected fiercely, claiming that their existing Big Mac trademark would end up in a customer confusion melee.

Taking the bull by the horns, Supermac’s lodged a 2017 proposal to the EU’s Intellectual Property Office to strike down McDonald’s Big Mac trademark registration. Their reasoning was simple: McDonald’s had failed to establish that it had employed the Big Mac name for non-burger related categories over a span of five years – the European grace period before a trademark can be challenged and potentially removed.

Following the Intellectual Property Office partially greenlighting Supermac’s petition, McDonald’s countered with an appeal to the EU court. But with the court’s verdict that McDonald’s has failed in demonstrating “genuine use” of the name for chicken sandwiches, food comprised of poultry products, or running drive-throughs and take-out establishments, the appeal fell flat.

For Supermac’s, the decision heralds a David overcoming Goliath moment. An enthusiastic Pat McDonagh, the company’s managing director, painted McDonald’s as a “trademark bully trying to quash competition.”

“This ruling embodies a refreshing, grounded approach to trademarks usage by colossal corporations. It’s a monumental triumph for small businesses across the globe,” McDonagh declared emphatically.

The Irish firm might not retail a sandwich christened the Big Mac, but it does have one called the Mighty Mac that bears striking similarities in terms of ingredients.

Unperturbed by the court ruling, McDonald’s announced that the decision does not infringe upon their rights to use the “Big Mac” trademark and that they remain able to appeal to the bloc’s highest court, the European Court of Justice, as long as they focus on points of law.

“The judgment by the EU General Court has no bearing on our rights to employ the ‘BIG MAC’ trademark,” the company noted in a media statement. “Our iconic Big Mac continues to be a major hit among patrons Europe-wide, and we eagerly look forward to continuing our proud tradition of serving local communities as we have been doing for decades.”