Fast food giant McDonald’s has lost its exclusivity to use the prefix “Mc” in Malaysia after a court here allowed a local Indian food outlet, McCurry Restaurant, to use “Mc” in its business signage.
The judges of the court of appeal held that there was no evidence to show that McCurry Restaurant in Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, was passing off McDonald’s business as its own. “In my judgment, the irresistible inference to be drawn from the totality of the evidence is that McCurry’s Restaurant signboard would not result in reasonable persons associating McCurry with the McDonald’s mark,” Appeal Court judge Sri Ram said in his judgement.
The judge said the fact that McCurry Restaurant chose the name “McCurry,” could not, by itself, lead to the inference that it sought to obtain an unfair advantage from the usage of the prefix “Mc”.
“You have to look at the plaintiff’s (McDonald’s) getup or logo as a whole … It consists of a distinctive golden arched ‘M’ with the word, McDonald’s, against a red background,” he said.
“The defendant’s (McCurry) signboard carried the words ‘Restoran McCurry’ with the lettering in white and grey on a red background with a picture of a chicken giving a double thumbsup and with the wording, ‘Malaysian Chicken Curry’.”
“Thus, the defendant’s presentation of its business is in a style and getup which is distinctly different from that of the plaintiff,” said the judge adding that none of the food items on the menu card served at McCurry Restaurant carried the prefix ‘Mc’ unlike the items of food available at McDonald’s.
“It would have been different if McCurry Restaurant had offered to its customers, items that were labelled either the same as or similar to those sold by McDonald’s, for example McFish or McLamb,” he said.
He also noted that the food served at McCurry was typically Indian food, national news agency Bernama said.
On Sept 7, 2006, the High Court held that the McDonald’s fast food chain, a household name among children, had the exclusive right to the prefix “Mc” and ordered McCurry Restau-rant (KL) to pay damages to McDonald’s Corporation, the proprietor of the McDonald’s chain of restaurants
Source: Financial Chronicle