Irish Fast Food Chain Wins Trademark Battle Against McDonald’s

by Nick

Supermac’s, an Irish fast food chain, has won a significant trademark case against the American fast food giant McDonald’s.

The dispute centered around the use of the name “Big Mac.”


The EU General Court, the second-highest court in the European Union, ruled that McDonald’s had not proved it was using the Big Mac label on products other than burgers, such as chicken sandwiches and poultry items, in the five years before the case began.


The legal battle began when Galway-based Supermac’s sought to register its name for EU expansion. In 2017, Supermac’s filed a complaint with the EU Intellectual Property Office, arguing that McDonald’s hadn’t used the Big Mac trademark on anything other than burgers for five years. According to EU trademark law, if a trademark isn’t used for five years, it can be revoked.


McDonald’s appealed after the trademark regulator partially agreed with Supermac’s. However, the General Court confirmed that “McDonald’s has not proved that the contested mark has been put to genuine use.”


Supermac’s Managing Director, Pat McDonagh, welcomed the ruling, calling it “a significant victory for small businesses around the world.” Supermac’s sells a sandwich similar to the Big Mac, named the Mighty Mac.

McDonald’s responded by stating that the decision would not impact the use of the Big Mac name for its iconic burger, which has been on their menu since 1968. McDonald’s can still appeal to the Court of Justice of the European Union, but only on legal grounds.


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