Big Mac puts bite on McMunchie

By Hugh Muir - Daily Telegraph, 24th September 1996; UK

A SANDWICH BAR owner faces legal action by McDonald's after calling her business McMunchies.

Lawyers for the worldwide corporation have complained to Mary Blair, 36; that the use of the "Mc" prefix infringes the McDonald's copyright and could confuse the public.

They have demanded that she remove the sign within 14 days.

Mrs Blair, of Fenny Stratford, Bucks, has protested, saying that she used "Mc" because she is Scottish.

She says she was oblivious to any similarity when the name was registered two months ago and that any would-be McDonald's customers who went into her bar would soon discover their mistake. "We don't sell hamburgers or fries or shakes, or anything like that." she said yesterday. "And the shop doesn't look anything like a McDonald's.

"I like the name Munchies. But there is another sandwich shop called that near here, so I thought, being Scottish, I'd add the 'Mc'. We had the sign made with a thistle and a flag."

She added: "How can they own Mc? It means they own half the names in Scotland."

Her solicitor is opposing the demand. But Mrs Blair, orginally from Hamilton, near Glasgow, is wary of becoming involved in an expensive dispute.

"I can't hope to fight a company with the finances of McDonald's".

McDonald's said it considered the appearance of the bar and the nature of the business before deciding to take action. "It is not just the 'Mc'. It also depends on the typeface used and the context."

Among firms McDonald's has taken action against was a resturant in Vilnius, Lithuania, called McSmile.

See also :
  • Scots Chef to defend his clan - The Herald, 7th October, '96; Scotland
  • Mr McDonald bites back - Independent, 30th Sept '96; UK
  • Corner shop faces McDonald's writ - The Times, 24th Sept 1996; 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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