February 13, 2019

A royal pain in the buns: The unlikely winner of Europe’s battle for the Big Mac

An Irish fast-food chain called Supermac’s won an unlikely trademark victory over the world’s largest burger chain.

Supermac’s, an Irish fast-food chain with a burger called the Mighty Mac, was so sick of never-ending legal beef with McDonald’s that it did something crazy: It sued McDonald’s for the right to Mac.

Even crazier? In a sizzle heard ‘round the world, Supermac’s won. And, after McD’s lost its Big Mac trademark in Europe, a whole bunch of burger bashing began.

David vs. Burger-liath

Pat McDonagh started Supermac’s in 1978 and has since expanded his Mighty Mac business to 106 locations. But, McDonald’s’ legal threats stopped Supermac’s in its burger tracks.

European regulators ruled that McDonald’s failed to prove “genuine use” of its trademark in the preceding 5 years.  

“It’s a unique victory when you take on the golden arches and win,” McDonagh, Supermac’s managing director, told The Guardian

The tables have turned for the world’s biggest burger bully

It was a rare loss for McDonald’s, a well-known trademark tyrant that has registered names such as “Mac Internet” and “Mac Country” just because

Meanwhile, the lost trademark has opened the flame broiled floodgates: Burger King immediately changed the names of its burgers to “The Burger Big Mac Wished it Was” and “The Anything But a Big Mac” at several European locations.

A spokesperson told reporters that McDonald’s plans to appeal the decision and reclaim its Big Mac-opoly. But for now, McDonagh told the BBC, “This is the end of the McBully.”

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