Supermac’s suspends Australian trade mark plan

Supermac’s has withdrawn its application to register its brand in Australia in the latest twist in its brand war with fast food giant, McDonald’s.

Supermac’s suspends Australian trade mark plan

At the same time, the Galway-based fast food firm has given formal notice that it is to appeal the European ruling it is not allowed sell its famous snack box, curry chips and other food products under its Supermac’s brand across Europe.

The EU Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market — OHIM — upheld the arguments by McDonald’s in January the use of the Supermac’s brand when selling fast food would create confusion among the public in the EU outside Ireland between the firms’ fast food products.

In opposing the Supermac’s application, McDonald’s was seeking to protect its registered trade marks.

However, Supermac’s boss, Pat McDonagh confirmed yesterday the withdrawal of the Australian trade mark application is purely tactical and a fresh revised application will be lodged in the next two months.

Supermac’s lodged its Australian application in March 2014 with plans by a franchisee to open the first Supermac’s at Bondi Junction in Sydney later that year.

However, that plan was stalled after McDonald’s objected to the registration of the Supermac’s brand with the Australian government.

“We learned a lot from the European decision so we have to adjust the application accordingly,” Mr McDonagh said referring to Australian application.

The trademark application would still be for the Supermac’s brand in Australia, but he didn’t want to say anything more about how it will differ from the initial application.

“I don’t want to say any more in case we might pre-warn someone what it might be,” he said, adding that ordinary citizens find the EU decision “to a certain degree inexplicable”.

He said: “The decision doesn’t make sense. We are allowed register the name but aren’t allow sell the products Supermac’s sell.

"The brand has been used for over the last 35 years without a problem — it doesn’t make logical sense — (and) that would be the main grounds on the appeal.”

Mr McDonagh isn’t put off by the low success rate of appeals against OHIM decisions.

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