In terms of the settlement, neither of Dax Prop's outlets will be allowed to use McDonald's trademarks, but the Durban-based Macdonalds will be allowed to use that name within a 750m radius around its existing premises.
The attorney for McDonald's said the decision cleared the way for a "big push" into Durban. "Hopefully, by this time next year Durban will have three new McDonald's," he said.
The attorney for Dax Prop said he too was "reasonably happy" with the
outcome. However, he said, this was only the beginning of what he expected
to be a two-year battle over the validity of McDonald's trademarks in South
Africa. The battle over McDonald's trademarks will begin on May 20 in
Bloemfontein's Appeal Court.
(Taken from a South African newspaper)
Mark Woolfenden, the managing director, said: "We have seen a great improvement in customer confidence." McDonald's, the biggest burger chain, and Burger King said last night they had no plans to do so too."
The ex-employee also revealed that at this store the 'Vegetable Deluxe' (the veggie burger recently introduced at all UK outlets) were kept in the same drawer as the Chicken McNuggets.
The Hampstead McDonald's was opened in 1992 despite a tremendous amount of local opposition to it. There was an 11 year battle with local residents, which only worked out in McDonald's favour because they bought small premises with an existing licence to sell hot food.
As part of my research on food and changing eating habits, I called
McDonalds and asked them how many people they "served" each day. They did
not return my calls. Seven phone calls and 2 faxes later and they still
won't say. The only response I got was when I wrote to them on my law office
letterhead. They called and asked why I wanted the information and if I
would use it in any way that would reflect negatively on McDonald's. I asked
them if they have a policy which determines who is given information and who
isn't based on certain criteria of censorship. They said they'd get back to
me, but so far I haven't even received the student information packet they
promised. You'd think I was asking them for the recipe for their secret sauce.
From Claire Cummings
In the exhibit hall an executive of a mid-sized aerospace company told me, to my dismay, that he has been informed that McDonald's is the largest commercial "consumer" of space imagery taken from Earth orbit.
They are said to take and make sophisticated year-by-year comparisons of
neighborhood densities in deciding where to try to inflict/infect with yet
more outlets. Another gross misuse of space technology.
From A. Hogan
But on page 31, there are nine pictures, each with a time-stamp in the corner. It shows how using modular technology, a McDonald's in England was constructed in just 9 hours. The problem is, after I looked closely at the pictures, it is clear that at least some of the photos were touched-up, and may have been taken on different days.
If you look at the photos marked 7:30 am and 9:00 am. You'll notice much construction completed on the lot building the McDonald's. But if you look at the cars and traffic in the background, most all the cars are the same, and are still in the same spot! This is an intersection. But why haven't the cars moved? That must have been some traffic jam! One, or both, of these photos obviously have been altered.
Also, the vast changes in weather between some of the pictures indicates to me they were taken on different days. At 11:00 am the streets are wet. Just one hour later at 12:00 pm, it's sunny and dry. At 12:30 pm, it's cloudy and wet again. But by 1:00 pm, everything quickly dried-out, and it's sunny again. And at 2:15 pm and 4:30 pm, it's cloudy and wet again. To have such vast weather changes, and for the humidity to change so quickly for the streets to dry out so fast, I would think is a very, very, rare occurence. Also, the shadows between 12:00 noon and 1:00 pm seemed to have moved a huge amount in just one hour. But since I don't know the latitude or time of year in England this picture was taken, I guess there might be a possibility of this large of shadow movement, but I doubt it.
What I did was call shareholder relations and ask them to look at the annual report as I pointed this stuff out. Maybe, I just wanted to give them a hard time. At first, when I asked why the traffic didn't move, the lady on the other end told me it could have been from traffic congestion. I said, "come on, now." England must have the world's most patient drivers if all those cars at the intersection didn't move at all. But, there were a few cars that did move, in the foreground. This all indicated to me the picture(s) were touched-up.
I then questioned her about the weather. Finally, she indicated to me the pictures were designed to show a McDonald's could be constructed in 9 hours, but it wasn't meant to represent how a specific one is being constructed. But there was nothing in the pictures, or in its explanation, to indicate such. By what was written in the annual report, it seemed to be an actual one being constructed in England in one day.
In any event, does anyone think these pictures could constitute fraud,
by misleading shareholders? A shareholder might think McDonald's can expand
faster with one-day construction, and this might influence his/her's
investment decision. But what if McDonald's can't construct restaurants in
a day? Maybe they can, but they sure couldn't do it in these pictures!
From D. C. Dining