Supermac’s makes Submission to OHIM in Significant EU Trademark Case

Supermac’s Managing Director Pat McDonagh travelled to Alicante today to personally deliver to the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) Supermac’s submission in the objection lodged by McDonald’s against the company.   The submission follows McDonald’s objection to Supermac’s application to have their company name trademark registered across the EU.

The international fast food giant has taken the objection against Irish owned Supermac’s in an effort to prevent the family restaurant chain from expanding outside Ireland. The objection is based on the contention by McDonald’s that the name ‘Supermac’s’ is similar to the name ‘McDonald’s’ which may cause confusion for consumers should Supermac’s open further restaurants in other European Union countries.

The first Supermac’s restaurant opened its doors in 1978 on Main Street, Ballinasloe.  Since that first opening, Supermac’s restaurants have become a feature in towns and cities throughout Ireland.  Today Supermac’s is the largest Irish indigenous quick service restaurant group with a policy of continued expansion and growth.  Supermac’s have developed their operations outside of Ireland in Europe since 2007 with a number of restaurant openings in Northern Ireland.  The Supermac’s chain was originally founded by Pat McDonagh who identified an opportunity in the locality for quick service restaurants while he was teaching in Kilreekil, County Galway.  The name of the first restaurant, and subsequently the business, company name and trademark Supermac’s, was derived from Pat McDonagh’s nickname “SUPERMAC.” This name was conferred on him by supporters on the sideline in the late 1960s during his football playing days with the Carmelite College in Moate.

Speaking from Alicante on Supermac’s submission Mr McDonagh says “I am confident that the true facts of Supermac’s case have been presented clearly to the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market today. Supermac’s has long been regarded as a steadily growing business throughout its 37 years in existence. We are responding to demands coming from fifteen cities internationally for the opening of Supermac’s restaurants. For more than 30 years Supermac’s has traded successfully alongside McDonald’s in Ireland and Northern Ireland. I don’t believe this could be any different in other countries.”

Mr McDonagh continues “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 McDonalds.  This is the name upon which myself and the Supermac’s team have built a solid business over so many years.”

Supermac’s already has an extensive reputation abroad. As well as its familiarity to Irish expatriates and visitors to the country, Supermac’s has been voted by Fox News as one of the ‘Top Ten Restaurants to Visit’ and by USA Today as one of the ‘Top Foreign Chains we want in the USA.’ The company also created a giant snack box as part of a billboard advertising campaign in Times Square, New York and last year branded a double decker London Bus on key landmark London City routes.

Supermac’s is currently in the process of opening eight new restaurants throughout Ireland as part of its 2015 plans for growth. New locations include the Tipperary Town Plaza, M1 Retail Park (Drogheda), Clonshaugh (Dublin) and Ballacolla on the M8, while plans have been submitted for a key motorway service development on the M18 (Co. Clare).  On average the business serves over 300,000 customers every week and is involved in over 100 community initiatives and sponsorships around Ireland.


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