EU Blocks Supermac’s European Expansion Plans
No Happy Meal for Supermac’s. The 100-unit Irish QSR chain has lost its two-year trademark battle with McDonald’s to expand across Europe. The Galway-based chain had been fighting protests from the U.S. company over the use of “Mac” in the name of its restaurants outside of Ireland.
In a split decision, the European Union’s Office for Harmonisation ruled that Supermac’s can still use its brand name if it begins trading across the EU, but can’t sell the meat, fish, chicken nuggets or fries on its menu under the Supermac’s name because it could confuse English-speaking customers about whose restaurant are patronizing.
The dispute started two years ago when Supermac’s pursued plans to open franchised locations in Perth and Sydney, Australia; McDonald's legal challenge was then extended to Europe a year ago.
McDonald’s has a mixed record of litigation with chains using Mc- in their names. It lost a long-running legal dispute with a Malaysian restaurant which called itself McCurry, but MacJoy in the Philippines, McCoffee in the U.S., and McMunchies in Scotland all had to change their names under legal pressure from the American burger giant.