The Big Mac Just Lost Its Trademark In Europe — Here’s What That Means

Big Mac trademark

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) decided Tuesday, January 14th, that McDonald’s no longer holds its “Big Mac” trademark in Europe. This decision comes after Pat McDonagh, owner of the Ireland-based fast-food chain Supermac’s, took legal action in order to expand his business across Britain and Europe.

According to the Guardian, McDonald’s did not prove “genuine use of Big Mac,” a trademarked name within the chain since 1996. Therefore, the fast food giant no longer holds their Big Mac trademark in Europe, making it fair game for outsider usage.

McDonald’s, which argues that customers will be confused at the similarities between Big Mac and Supermac, can appeal this ruling in the near future.

“We said there’d be no confusion,” McDonagh said via the Guardian. “Big Mac and Supermac are two different things,”

He said of the EUIPO’s decision, “We’re delighted. It’s a unique victory when you take on the golden arches and win. This is a victory for all small businesses. It prevents bigger companies from hoarding trademarks with no intention of using them.”

McDonagh opened his first Supermac’s in 1978 — Supermac being his nickname in college — in Ballinasloe in County Galway. Since then, the chain has expanded across Ireland and McDonagh is now the managing director of 106 restaurants. With this new ruling, Supermac’s will be able to expand even further throughout the U.K. and Europe.

McDonald’s has yet to respond to the ruling. However, many fans of both chains have taken to Twitter to celebrate the win.

People are ready for the expansion of Supermac’s now.

And some are giving Supermac’s a few advertising ideas.

Ahem…we Americans see you.

Congrats to Supermac’s! And if you’re a McDonald’s fan, don’t worry. You can still get your Big Macs. This ruling just makes sure Supermac’s doesn’t get into legal trouble with the big guys.

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