Supermac’s accuse McDonald’s of “trademark bullying” as ongoing dispute continues
Things are really starting to… heat up.
Supermac’s has asked the EU regulator to cancel the use of the Big Mac trademark registered by McDonald’s under certain classes in the latest episode in the ongoing dispute between the fast food restaurants.
In a strongly worded statement, Supermac’s revealed that it has formally submitted the request to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and has asked that it take effect immediately.
Supermac’s says it has submitted the request on the basis that McDonald’s is “engaged in trademark bullying by registering brand names which are nothing to do with them, they do not use and which are simply stored away in order to pulverize some future competitor just as this corporate Giant has already tried with Supermac’s”.
In the statement, Supermac’s points out that McDonald’s has trademarked words such as McKids, McFamily, McHome, McWallet, McRecycle, McJob, McChoice, the McNet and McInternet “in an attempt to wipe out any potential competition”.
Supermac's claims that “this amounts to nothing more than trademark bullying by a large multi-national to try and create a de-facto monopoly in the Mc prefix not only for food and restaurant services but also for the McInternet, the McCountry and even your McKids”.
Founder and Managing Director of Supermac’s Ireland Ltd, Pat McDonagh said: “McDonald's has literally registered the McWorld. It is trying to make sure that every word in the English language belongs to them if there is (the) prefix Mc or Mac put in front of it.
“They have trademarked words like McKids, McFamily, McCountry, McWorld, McJob and McInternet in order to, over time, squeeze out smaller family based businesses. This means that if any McGrath, McCarthy or McDermott with a business idea uses their name in the title of that business or product the chances are McDonald's already own the trademark and you can probably expect a knock on the door from them.
“McDonald’s has trademarked the SnackBox, a product that is synonymous with Supermac's,” McDonagh added.
“McDonald’s do not offer this product and it doesn't contain a Mc or a MAC so why would McDonald's trademark it unless it wants to come knocking on our door again to tell us that we have to stop selling a product that we so obviously own?"
"We have had enough of this trademark bullying and thankfully a mechanism exists whereby we can demand that McDonald’s will have to cancel trademarks that they are warehousing as ammunition in a future trade war. The tactic of trying to take ownership of everything that begins with Mc is corporate colonialism,” he said.
This year, McDonald's objected to Supermac's plans to use its name in Europe on the basis that it would “take unfair advantage of the distinctive character and repute of” trademarks previously won by McDonald’s.
In a statement issued to JOE on Wednesday, McDonald’s had the following response: “We are unaware of any new action by Supermac’s.
“However, as with all companies around the world, McDonald’s defends the values of our brand, including our trademarks, to protect consumers against confusion and prevent others from taking unfair advantage of our trademarks.”