want fries with that?
Posted by Abe Sauer on September 8, 2009 05:37 PM
As all travelers know, finding a fake McDonald's in some international backwater is charming. And, really, those trademark breaches are probably doing the brand more good than harm. But dilution in richer markets, where it actually competes, is something Micky D's finds bracing and worrisome.
Case in point: McDonald's has lost an eight-year (!) trademark battle against Malaysian restaurant (serving Indian food) McCurry, aimed at preventing its use of the "Mc" prefix. Sri Devi Nair, McCurry's lawyer, sums up why this ruling is so dangerous to the McDonald's brand: "This is a precedent for everyone to follow."
As Cleo McDowell, from the 1988 film Coming To America, tried to explain:
Me and the McDonald's people got this little misunderstanding. See, they're McDonald's. I'm McDowell's. They got the Golden Arches. Mine is the Golden Arcs. They got the Big Mac, I got the Big Mick. We both got two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions. But their buns have sesame seeds. My buns have no seeds.
To add insult to injury, Minneapolis restaurant Lion's Tap is taking McDonald's to court, accusing it of Hamburgling a tagline the local joint claims it's been using since way back in 2005, "Who's Your Patty?," for the new McDonald's Angus burger.
McDonald's has seen more than its share of trademark lawsuits. (The one it lost to U.K. chain McChina Wok Away’s use of the “Mc” prefix is most similar to the Malaysian case.) Maintaining a brand with global reach is messier than fries with ketchup!