Corner shop faces McDonald's writ

The Times, 24th September 1996; UK

McDONALD'S is threatening to sue the owner of a small sandwich bar which it says is infringing its tradmark on the prefix "Mc".

Mary Blair has been told to drop the disputed prefix from McMunchies, the name of her shop in Fenny Stratford near Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, or face legal action from the restaurant chain. Ms Blair, 36, who does not sell burgers or chips, described McDonald's behavior as crazy.

She said she chose the name because she liked the word "muchies" and coming from Hamilton, Strathclyde, wanted to add a touch of Scotland. The sign on her shop was not the same colour or the same style as the McDonald's logo, she added.

McDonald's said that it was the registered user of the "Mc" prefix and Ms Blair was effectively using something that did not belong to her.

Ms Blair, who opened her sandwich bar earlier this summer, said "This is a small corner shop. We sell cold sandwiches, cold meats and the odd sausage roll. How can anyone in their right minds confuse us with McDonald's?"

She said that McDonald's had told her to change the sign by next week or face legal action. The matter was now in the hands of her solicitor.

McDOnald's said that the prefix was the firm's recognised trademark. "McDonald's Restaurants Limited is the registered user of the 'Mc' prefix as a registered trademark," a spokesman said in a statement.

"We have made a significant investment over the years to build up the reputation for restaurant services and food itmes associated with this trademark and also of the golden arches logo, which is also registered.

"If someone, either deliberately, or unintentionally, uses our trademarks in their own food or retaurant-related business they are effectively using something that does not belong to them."

See also :
  • Scots Chef to defend his clan - The Herald, 7th October, '96; Scotland
  • Mr McDonald bites back - Independent, 30th Sept '96; UK
  • Big Mac puts bite on McMunchie - Daily Telegraph, 24th Sept '96; UK
  • Big Mac Chews Out Little Mrs McMunchie - Independent, 24th Sept '96; UK
  • Fed up to McTeeth with the son of a gun - Mirror, 28th Sept '96; UK

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