A trade mark dispute at the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office) between two well known brands in Ireland has caught the media’s attention here. https://www.rte.ie/news/business/2017/0412/867126-supermac-s-trademarks/

The Trade Mark SUPERMAC’S has been in use in Ireland in relation to a fast food chain of restaurants since 1978, and incidentally a favourite haunt of our Prime Minister, while BIG MAC is McDonald’s flagship burger brand and both trade marks have co-existed peacefully for many years in Ireland. However, Supermac’s wishes to extend its protection to the EU and McDonalds have objected to a recent application, having previously been successful in an earlier opposition, on the grounds that the the marks BIG MAC and SUPERMAC’S are confusingly similar. Now Supermac’s has decided to attack the EU registration of BIG MAC on the grounds that it has not been used in relation to many of the goods and services covered by the registration and thus, in theory, could strip the protection under the Trade Mark BIG MAC down to food prepared from meat and/or meat sandwiches which would then be compared to the restaurant services of interest to Supermac’s.