Supermac’s boss Pat McDonagh yesterday accused McDonalds of showing ‘disrespect’ in its brand war with the Irish firm.
Mr McDonagh was speaking after returning from Alicante in Spain where he hand-delivered the Supermac’s response to McDonald’s opposition to the Galway fast food firm using its name across Europe.
He said: “This is one we have to win. We will fight this to the last. We can’t be curtailed in how we want to expand outside Ireland. What McDonald’s is doing in opposing our expansion is anti-competitive.
“I don’t think they have shown any respect towards us, as I don’t see any basis for the objection, and I would question why it was lodged in the first place.” Is it because they are feeling the pressure after a fall in business? I can’t say.”
Last year, McDonald’s worldwide global sales declined by 2% to $27.44bn. During the same period Supermacs, which employs 2,700 here, achieved a record- breaking €100m in revenues.
Mr McDonagh travelled alone on Thursday to deliver the submission to the EU Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM).
Mr McDonagh said: “The nickname ‘Supermac’ was imparted on me during my Gaelic football days with Carmelite College, Moate. It is as much part of me as the surname I was born with and it is outrageous to think that I would change my name to suit McDonald’s.
A 12-page letter lodged by Mr McDonagh and his wife Una with the EU office points out that the Supermac’s lead products, the snack box and curry chips, “are themselves distinctive brand leaders” and not similar in content to any products offered by McDonald’s.
McDonald’s states that the Irish firm using the name Supermac’s in the EU would “take unfair advantage of the distinctive character and repute of” trademarks earlier won by McDonald’s.
A spokeswoman at the OHIM said yesterday that McDonald’s now has the option to respond to the points raised by Supermac’s.
A spokeswoman for McDonalds said: “As with all companies around the world, McDonald’s defends the values of our brand, including our trade marks. These actions are intended to protect consumers against confusion and prevent others from taking unfair advantage of our trade marks.”
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