Supermac's international plans face fresh legal challenges from McDonald's

Will the rest of Europe miss out on Irish-style snack boxes and taco fries?

Supermac's international plans face fresh legal challenges from McDonald's

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McDonald's has maintained its objections to the use of the brand name Supermac's - and it has accused the Irish firm of trying to piggy-back on its brand name across the EU.

The company's latest objections to the use of the name represent an escalation in the US firm's challenge to the Irish company's use of 'Mac' when selling its food, according to the Irish Independent.

McDonald's says that the Irish company is trying to "benefit from McDonald's long-established brand by making the trademark application for Supermac's to the EU," according to the report.

This will not affect Supermac's Irish operations.

The filing comes just under one year after the EU Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) ruled that McDonald's objections to the use of the name are warranted.

In a split decision the EU Office for Harmonisation, based in Alicante in Spain, ruled that Supermac's can still use its brand name if it begins trading across the EU, but can’t sell its meat, fish, chicken nuggets or fries under the name because confusion might arise for English-speaking customers as to whether they are in a McDonald's outlet.

At the time Pat McDonagh, owner of the Galway-based fast food chain, described the ruling as "contradictory" and "questionable."

The Irish company appealed against this decision - before withdrawing that appeal and drafting a fresh application.

Again - McDonald's is claiming that the 'Mc/Mac' prefix and suffix are synonymous with its brand.

"Due to McDonald's long and continuous use of the 'Mc' and 'Mac' terms, these terms have become widely and exclusively associated with McDonald's by consumers throughout the European Union," the legal documents state.

"Even if the public were able to distinguish between the marks themselves, it is likely that the public would believe that the Supermac's mark is used to identify a new service from McDonald's offerings of 'Mc'/Mac' products," the company continued.

It argues that the current application is very similar to the one that was rejected last year.

Newstalk has requested comment from both companies.