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McDonald’s Threatens Legal Action for Italian Snack Bar

McDonald’s has threatened the small business because it believes consumers might confuse the restaurant of Ivan Puddu with one of its own outlets. The restaurant’s specialty is Sardinian stuffed pasta with a locally-sourced sheep's cheese, potato and mint filling.
 The McDouble sandwich
 
 
McDonald’s has threatened the small business because it believes consumers might confuse the restaurant of Ivan Puddu with one of its own outlets. The restaurant’s specialty is Sardinian stuffed pasta with a locally-sourced sheep's cheese, potato and mint filling. McDonald’s signature sandwich is the Big Mac- two beef patties served with salad and a variant on Thousand Island dressing, in a sandwich with three slices of bread.

"Over here, the parcels are made by hand on Sundays in Sardinian homes," Puddu said. "They are good, old-fashioned and a family ritual."

McDonald’s burger patties
are made by mincing beef in industrial sized mincers, then passing the mince through patty making machines, before they are frozen for distribution to McDonald’s outlets.

McPuddu’s lacks the funds to fight the order, and so Puddu has nailed a plank over the “Mc” on his sign and has added “censored” over the restaurant’s door.
Sardinia's Regional Agricultural Assessor, Andrea Prato, said that the regional government would back Puddu financially in what he called a "David and Goliath" fight against "one of the greatest corruptors of the palate in the world".

McTrouble
McDonald’s has a habit of dealing harshly with anyone who appropriates the “Mc” prefix. Famous examples include:

McCoffee
Coffee shop owner Elizabeth McCaughey thought her shop’s title was a delightful pun on her own surname, and operated under it for 17 years. In 1994 McDonald’s forced her to change it.

McMunchies
Mary Blair named her sandwich shop McMunchies to give it a Scottish feel, which was also why her shop sign prominently featured a Scottish thistle and a St Andrew's flag. McDonald’s solicitors weren’t having any of it, and said that if someone used the Mc prefix, even unintentionally, they were using something that does not belong to them. This is worrying for all those Scottish people who have a McPrefix in their surname.

• McAllan
McDonald’s took Danish hot dog vendor Allan Pedersen to court for naming his hot dog stand McAllan’s after his favorite whiskey brand. Mindful of other’s intellectual property and trademarks, Pederson contacted the distillery beforehand to check that this was okay. The whiskey brand had no problem with it, but McDonalds saw fit to take Pederson to the Supreme Court.

The court ruled that customers could tell the difference between a global fast food chain and a one-man street vendor, and ordered McDonalds to pay $6,900 court costs.

The Real Ronald McDonald
The real thorn in McDonald’s side, however, has to be its 26-year campaign against the McDonald's Family Restaurant, opened by one Ronald McDonald. The campaign proved unsuccessful, and Mr. McDonald continued to use his own name on his restaurant.

Read Alison Bryce's blog on how recent European court rulings have affected the phenomenon of "Copycat Branding"


See how McDonald's ranks among the world's biggest food franchises.


Edited by Jennifer Denby

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