What’s in a Mc Name – McCurry?

McDonald’s may be the preeminent name in fast-food but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it can claim to possess the `Mc’ prefix for the name of any restaurants. Not in Malaysia, anyway.

McDonald’s in Malaysia waged an eight year legal battle against food outlet minnow McCurry. McDonald’s appeared to have the cards stacked in its favour; part of the global fast-food conglomerate with over 180 restaurants across Malaysia and all the trademarks filed and sealed many years ago.

McCurry, by contrast, was a single restaurant which has sold local Malaysian delicacies such as fish head curry, roti chanai and murtabak since 1999.

McDonald’s claimed the McCurry name of the restaurant breached the fast food giant’s trademark. However, the proprietors of McCurry riposted that the name was short for “Malaysian Chicken Curry,” as per the information on the company website (www.mccurryrecipe.com). They added that their logo did not resemble that of the burger chain and was not intended to play off the more famous name.

McDonald’s won their lawsuit in 2006 after a local court found in their favour. However, McCurry appealed this decision and recently an appeals court overruled the decision that McDonald’s trademark had been infringed.

The Federal Court ruled that McDonald’s did not have exclusive rights to use the prefix ‘Mc’. The court found that McDonald’s could not presume to have a monopoly in the use of the term ‘Mc’ on a signage or in the conduct of food business.

The proprietors of McCurry have now announced that they have planned to expand and open restaurants in other locations– isn’t that how McDonald’s got started?

Do you need to know more about our services and how Regents can assist you with Intellectual Property issues? Simply go to our Intellectual Property page or else send an email to contactus@regentsriskadvisory.com with your contact details and we will respond at once.