A few months after its fiftieth birthday, celebrated with gadgets and special offers in over 35,000 restaurants around the world, the Big Mac will no longer be an exclusive brand in European stores. This was decided by a ruling by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (Euipo), which then removed McDonald’s from exclusive use of the trademark of its most famous sandwich.
The decision of the Eurome comes as a conclusion of a legal action started in 2015 by the Irish fast food chain Supermac’s, which has over 100 restaurants throughout Ireland. Supermac’s had asked the European office to register its trademark throughout the Union, but on that occasion McDonald’s had opposed it, saying the brand was too reminiscent of the Big Mac and could cause confusion among consumers.
In 2017, then, the Irish company, which opened its first restaurant in 1978 in Galway, had again appealed to the Euipo asking for the revocation of the registered trademark Mc and Big Mac to McDonald’s.
Now the office sided with Supermac’s, reporting that the American fast food giant would not use the registered trademark in accordance with European legislation, and would take advantage of its power to curb the expansion of “competitors”.
“We are very disappointed with the decision of the EU and we believe that this decision does not take into account the substantial evidence submitted by McDonald’s to the judges to prove the use of our Big Mac brand in Europe”, a McDonald’s representative reported by Cnbc.
The president and founder of Supermac’s, Pat McDonagh, was very satisfied with the ruling, declaring to the Irish public broadcaster Rte: “The original objective of our action was to highlight the aggressive and overbearing use of the trademarks registered by part of these big multinational companies to stifle the competition. “