Wednesday, September 9, 2009
McCurry Fights the Machine & Wins !
From the Financial TimesMcDonald’s on Tuesday lost an eight-year legal battle to prevent its Mc prefix being used by a Malaysian curry restaurant, potentially opening the way for other food retailers to borrow the celebrated prefix in the region.
The ruling by Malaysia’s highest court allowing a privately owned Kuala Lumpur restaurant to call itself McCurry is the latest in a 70-year battle to protect the trademark of one of the world’s most famous fast food franchises.
The US-based chain known for its Big Mac hamburgers, Golden Arches logo and Ronald McDonald mascot has aggressively sought to stamp out brand likenesses in other countries to varying levels of success.
Failed attempts include one in Canada to prevent the use of the name McBeans for the sale of coffee and another in the UK seeking to bar the use of the trademark McChina Wok Away.
Scots seek to defend culinary identity - Sep-08Fancy coffee helps boost McDonald's global sales - Aug-11In the mid-nineties McDonald’s stopped a Seattle coffee shop from using the name McCoffee, under which it had operated for 17 years.
“We respect the court’s decision,” McDonald’s said in response to the Malaysian court ruling. “Meanwhile, we will continue to vigorously defend our trademarks and brand around the world, as we always have.”
The federal court ruling closed the legal avenue for McDonald’s, which had argued that McCurry was using the prefix in an attempt to pass itself off as being related to the US chain. McCurry argued through a series of court hearings that its name was short for Malaysian Chicken Curry, a staple dish. The restaurant, which is open 24 hours a day, also serves fish head curry, but not the western fast food associated with McDonald’s.
“It is unfortunate that we have to dismiss the application with costs,” chief judge Ariffin Zakaria said. The court awarded McCurry costs of M$10,000 (US$2,850).
“We feel great that this eight-year legal battle is finally over, and we can now go ahead with whatever we plan to do such as opening new branches,” McCurry owner P. Suppiah told Reuters in Malaysia after the decision.
The court ruling means that McDonald’s can no longer claim the unique use of the prefix Mc in Malaysia, although it does not prevent the company from bringing further cases asserting that food providers are trading on its name or image.
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