NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Mickey D's Legal Defeat
Ronald McDonald just got McWhacked in Malaysia.
McDonald's (MCD) (Stock Quote: MCD) came out on the losing end of an eight-year-old trademark battle to prevent local restaurant McCurry from using the 'Mc' prefix in a judgment by Malaysia's highest court Tuesday. The federal court ruled that McDonald's, which has 137 outlets in the southeast Asian country, will not be able to appeal the verdict, ending all legal avenues for the fast-food giant to protect its name from what it calls a trademark infringement.
In case you could not separate the two franchises (we know it's tough), McCurry serves Indian food, not billions and billions of burgers like its U.S. counterpart. Its owner maintains that the "Mc" in its title is an abbreviation for Malaysian Chicken Curry.
(MCD) Of course, that's just a bunch of McGarbage. McCurry, a popular eatery located on the edge of Kuala Lumpur's downtown, is clearly freeloading off the fast-food juggernaut to raise its profile. And McDonald's is obviously intent on proving it will spend the time and money to crush its tiniest competitor.
And now it looks like it will be spending a little more. As a result of the court decision, Mickey D's is being forced to pay 10,000 ringgit ($2,900) to McCurry.
(MCD) "On the basis of unanimous decision, our view is that" McDonald's plea to carry the case forward has no merit, said chief judge Arifin Zakaria. "It is unfortunate that we have to dismiss the application with costs," he said.
McDonald's lawyers refused to comment, except to say that the company will abide by the judgment. McCurry lawyer Sri Devi Nair said the precedent-setting ruling means McDonald's does not have a monopoly on the prefix "Mc," and that other restaurants could also use it as long as they distinguish their food from McDonald's.
(MCD) As for A.M.S.P. Suppiah, the owner of McCurry, he said he hopes to expand after being "stalled for eight years."
What a McShame. Maybe if he showed a bit more originality, he could have done something earlier.
Dumb-o-meter score: 95 -- Is that a Grimace we see on McDonald's legal team? Looks like they've been robbed by the Hamburglar.