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Burger Wars - McDonald's have now officially objected to Supermac's Australian project

The two franchises are at trademark loggerheads over the Irish fast food retailer’s name
Mar 18th 2015, 1:59 PM 28,079 85

FAST FOOD GIANT McDonald’s has lodged official legal objections to Irish chain Supermac’s prospective expansion in Australia.

Supermac’s are seeking to take advantage of their popularity and home-grown reputation with the large Irish population in Australia at present.

The potential objection has been mooted for some time and has now been delivered by Australian trademark lawyer Khajarque Kortian in the form of a 639-page legal statement to the Australian government’s intellectual property service.

Despite the fact the two chains have existed side by side in Ireland for the last 35 years, McDonald’s is claiming that registering in Australia would be ‘likely to deceive or confuse consumers’ into thinking that the Galway-based Irish chain is a McDonald’s brand.

Supermacs Fast Food Restaurants Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

The enormous document filed by McDonald’s consists largely of legal precedents where they have blocked the use of ‘Mc’ in Australian food brands.

Examples include the phrases ‘McSalad’, ‘McFresh’, “MacCoffee’, ‘McSlider’, and ‘McKebabs’, all of which McDonald’s was successful in blocking the use of by other companies.  The argument in each case was that McDonald’s intellectual property was being infringed.


The case (which follows a similar one taken by McDonald’s regarding the Irish chain’s expansion in Europe) has emerged since Supermac’s first mooted an Australian expansion to take advantage of the huge Irish emigrant population there.

Two outlets were planned, one in Sydney and one in Perth.

Supermac’s were unavailable for comment when contacted by  However, the company’s founder and managing director Pat McDonagh has previously described the McDonald’s action as ‘as much a delaying process as anything else’ and an attempt to ‘outmuscle us’.

McDonagh Supermac's founder Pat McDonagh Source: Supermac's

It isn’t for me to say why they’re doing this, but their sales have dipped a bit in the US and internationally so they are probably fighting for market share.
The market’s getting more competitive out there, so everyone’s fighting for their corner.”

Supermac’s response is expected to be filed before the start of May, with another two months likely before the Australian government reaches a decision.

McDonald’s have endured turbulent times in recent years, with sales in a consistent slump worldwide and their share price in prolonged stagnation.

They recently jettisoned CEO Donald Thompson in a bid to kickstart a recovery, with the company’s share price increasing by almost 4% in the two month’s since new chief executive Steve Easterbrook took charge.

Read: McDonald’s worker claims he was told to put mayonnaise on a grease burn

Read: This McDonald’s burger was bought 20 years ago and it hasn’t changed a bit

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Cianan Brennan


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