McDonald’s appeals ‘Big mac’ trademark victory for Supermac’s

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McDonald’s has appealed a recent victory for Supermac’s in their long running trademark battle that saw the US giant’s ‘Big Mac’ trademark cancelled in Europe.

The European Union Intellectual Property Office recently sided with Supermac’s in voiding the trademark, stating that McDonald’s did not show substantive “proof of use” of the trademark in Europe.

According to the Irish Times, McDonald’s has lodged its notice of appeal with the EUIPO, but has yet to submit grounds for the appeal.

Pat McDonagh has been fighting it out with McDonald’s over his plans to expand the Supermac’s chain into the UK and Europe, which have been blocked on trademark grounds in the past.

This latest twist will likely delay those plans further as Supermac’s will be unable to register their own trademark in Europe while the dispute is ongoing.

McDonagh’s has described McDonald’s actions as a “delaying tactic” and said that he is confident that the final decision will go their way.

McDonald’s opposition to McDonagh’s plans have centred on the use of the ‘Mac’ in their respective names.

The US chain said that it would cause confusion to customers for the two to operate alongside one another, adding that years of co-existence in Ireland was irrelevant to the argument.

But these grounds are baseless according to Supermac’s, and instead the chain is simply engaging in “trademark bullying” with Pat McDonagh at one point saying that McDonald’s have “literally registered the McWorld”.

Many of those trademarks have little connection to their existing products. McDonald’s hold a trademark for the SbackBox, a product which it does not offer but is popular at Supermac’s.

In this dispute over the ‘Big Mac’ trademark McDonald’s submitted sales data of big mac sandwiches from 2011 to 2016, along with advertising materials in English, French, and German.

However the EUIPO said that this material did not rise to the level of evidence required for a trademark.

McDonald’s have said that they are confident this decision will be overturned on the basis of the “substantive evidence” provided.

It’s expected that a ruling on this appeal may take a year or more to be decided, adding on to four years of this dispute.