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Sunday 22 July 2018

'McDonald's scared of us' - Supermac's in push for Europe

Supermac’s launched in 1978
Supermac’s launched in 1978

The international hamburger war is ramping up. Supermac's has hit out at US giant McDonald's for opposing its plans to operate across Europe.

It has claimed the real motivation behind the challenge is to prevent the Irish fast-food chain becoming a substantial competitor.

Supermac's rejected the argument by McDonald's that its motivation was to avoid "confusion or injury" between the two brands.

The company has told the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) that "given the success of Supermac's in Ireland and the UK, success in Europe would be highly achievable".

The claims are contained in a 51-page submission lodged by Supermac's to the EUIPO in the latest round of the brand wars.

Supermac's founder Pat McDonagh said yesterday he is "very optimistic" that the application will be successful.

"There is absolutely no likelihood of confusion now or in the future between the two brands," he said.

Supermac's told the EUIPO that its business "is iconic in Ireland and beloved of Irish people, many of whom now live abroad, including across Europe".

The firm said expanding its brand into Europe "arises from a real commercial imperative".

In the David v Goliath battle, Supermac's has been trying to operate in Europe since 2014.

A brand application was turned down in 2016 by the EUIPO after an objection by McDonald's.

Supermac's lodged a revised application in 2016, with McDonald's objecting once more, and now Supermac's has left nothing to chance in its lengthy submission, even explaining the genesis of Supermac's brand name.

Superpowers

The Supermac's submission said that as a keen schoolboy footballer in the 1960s at the Carmelite College in Moate, Co Westmeath, Mr McDonagh's nickname was Supermac, combining his surname with the comic book character Superman ad suggesting that, as a player, he had superpowers.

The submission also includes a letter from former college president Jimmy Murray, confirming that while a pupil, Mr McDonagh "became known as Supermac because of his unique role as a member of the college football team".

A decision on the application is expected from the EUIPO in the next few months.

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