COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) The country's highest court on Wednesday made
mincemeat of McDonald's claim that a vendor of minced-meat sandwiches had
violated the burger chain's trademark.
The case has ground its way through the courts since 1994, when McDonald's sued Allan Pedersen, who runs a sausage stand named McAllan's in Silkeborg, 240 km (150 miles) west of Copenhagen.
McDonald's claimed Pedersen was infringing on its trademark turf by using the "Mc" prefix. A city court ruled in favor of Pedersen, but a higher court reversed the ruling on appeal.
Pedersen took the case to Denmark's Supreme Court, which ruled against McDonald's and ordered the company to pay 40,000 kroner ($6,900) in court costs. The verdict cannot be appealed.
Pedersen started the stand in 1984 and says he came up with the name after a friend gave him a bottle of McAllan Scotch whisky. The distiller has never complained his appropriating the name, Pedersen says.
McDonald's opened its first outlet in Denmark in 1981, and now has about 40 restaurants in the country.
Pedersen's stand serves frankfurters and other sausages and a popular Danish speciality minceed meat with ketchup, sweet or strong mustard, fried or raw onions and cucumbers.