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28/11/01 . by Robin Young . The Times . UK
Chinese Nugget Beats Big Mac
McDonald's was accused by a High Court judge yesterday of greedily wanting to gobble up all the little Macs and Mcs.
Mr Justice Neuberger remarked of the international hamburger empire "They are virtually seeking to monopolise all names and words with the prefix Mc or Mac."
The judge was ruling that a Chinese immigrant should be allowed to establish a chain of fast-food restaurants called McChina offering Chinese food as an alternative to burgers, pizzas and fried chicken.
Frank Yuen opened his first outlet in Wimbledon in 1991 and within four years had high hopes that McChina would grow into a large national chain.
But when he tried to register the name as a trademark McDonald's Corporation objected and his application was refused.
McDonald's said that it had commissioned a survey of more than 2,000 people of whom nearly 30 per cent thought McChina was part of McDonald's. And the company's vice-president John Hawkes claimed that the public would inevitably associate the Mc prefix with the empire of the Golden Arches.
Mr Yuen said that he had adopted the Mc prefix to signify 'son of', as in Scottish names, and felt the public would recognise this. Mr Justice Neuberger agreed and, allowing Mr Yuen's appeal, said that the Mc prefix would neither confuse nor deceive.
Mr Yuen said after the hearing that he was "as happy as a drunken prawn."
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