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Girl Spends $5,000 to Fight McDonald's Lawyers
Bob McCarty Writes ^ | 1-25-10 | Bob McCarty

Posted on 01/25/2010 10:45:55 AM PST by BobMcCartyWrites

Three recent headlines convinced me that the Happy Meal® has been replaced with the Politically-Correct Meal® at your neighborhood McDonald's®.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Politics; Religion; Society
KEYWORDS: blogpimp; charity; mcdonalds; mcfest; politicallycorrect
Three recent headlines convinced me that the Happy Meal® has been replaced with the Politically-Correct Meal® at your neighborhood McDonald's®.

Recently, I came across the story of Lauren McClucky, a big-hearted 19-year-old who lives in the Chicago area and has been using "McFest" as the name for her charitable concerts that raise $30,000 for Special Olympics® in 2007 and 2008. It was only when she decided to trademark the effort in 2009 that the Oak Brook, Ill.-based restaurant chain "lawyered up" against her. As a result, she's had to spend some $5,000 -- about half of the proceeds from the 2009 concert -- on legal fees.

"It has nothing to do with food, arches or their colors," she told one publication recently, and "our M's are pointy, not curved."

The plight of this do-good girl might not have been deemed blogworthy had it not been for some of the restaurant's other efforts which had recently shown up on my "radar" and found a place on what I call my "watch list" of future story topics.

A couple of weeks ago, I came across the restaurant chain's effort to cater to the African-American community via its 365Black® campaign which touts the message, "we believe that African-American culture and achievement should be celebrated 365 days a year — not just during Black History Month." In response, I say, what other cultures and achievements are you celebrating?

Today, I learned that the 31,000-restaurant chain had ticked off its Chinese customers while trying to not offend Muslims and ended up apologizing to them. Below is how it was explained in an article in Singapore's Straits Times newspaper:

McDonald's this month started selling cartoon character miniatures depicting the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac calendar, but the pig was replaced by love god Cupid as McDonald's said it did not want to offend Muslims.

Can you see why I'm a little peeved? If Miss McClusky was a black Muslim from China, I seriously doubt that the restaurant chain would have released its hounds (a.k.a., "lawyers") to attack her and her charity over a petty trademark issue. Not in today's politically-correct environment!

1 posted on 01/25/2010 10:45:55 AM PST by BobMcCartyWrites
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To: BobMcCartyWrites

“It has nothing to do with food, arches or their colors,” she told one publication recently, and “our M’s are pointy, not curved.”

______________________________

I know she’s only 19. But Geez! She has a lot of Stupid to overcome. Hope she makes it.


2 posted on 01/25/2010 10:50:57 AM PST by Responsibility2nd (Free Republic. The BEST place anywhere to PIMP YOUR BLOG)
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To: BobMcCartyWrites

I bought a cup of coffee at a mcdonalds in Elgin three years ago. It is the only time I have darkened their door since late 1995.


3 posted on 01/25/2010 10:52:59 AM PST by RobRoy (The US today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Unless she has an undeniable connection to some other entity with a similar name, it would appear she’s trading on McDonald’s name.


4 posted on 01/25/2010 10:53:27 AM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: Responsibility2nd

I don’t think she is sooo stupid. Her last name is McClurky...so the McFest is a play on HER name (devoid of McDonald’s trademark golden arches, colors, etc).

McD’s should back off, give her Special Olympics a nice donation and call it a day.


5 posted on 01/25/2010 10:54:57 AM PST by PennsylvaniaMom (BOOM! Taste my nightstick! Sarah, making Shatner sound Shakespearean.)
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To: BobMcCartyWrites

I don’t see what mcdonalds sees as far as trademark infringement goes.


6 posted on 01/25/2010 10:55:16 AM PST by DonaldC (A nation cannot stand in the absence of religious principle.)
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To: Mr. Lucky
Unless she has an undeniable connection to some other entity with a similar name, it would appear she’s trading on McDonald’s name.

Her last name being McClusky, I'd say she has that undeniable connection.

Or does McDonald's own the "Mc" in everything?

7 posted on 01/25/2010 10:59:41 AM PST by IYAS9YAS (The townhalls were going great until the oPods showed up.)
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To: PennsylvaniaMom

Her last name could be McDonald. For what its worth.

But McDonald’s spends billions to protect its name and image. Right or wrong, this little kid hasn’t a chance of keeping “McFest”.


8 posted on 01/25/2010 11:00:12 AM PST by Responsibility2nd (Free Republic. The BEST place anywhere to PIMP YOUR BLOG)
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To: PennsylvaniaMom

Next up: The McDonald’s corporation will be suing the nation of Scotland for literally tens of millions of violations of copyright.


9 posted on 01/25/2010 11:00:54 AM PST by AmishDude
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To: BobMcCartyWrites

10 posted on 01/25/2010 11:04:47 AM PST by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps !"~~)
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To: Responsibility2nd

If she could afford to fight it, I bet she could win. Recent decisions seem to be pointed towards a “loosening up” of corporate capture of unaffiliated trademarks.

Of course since McDonald’s can afford to take the case all the way, she probably doesn’t even have a remote chance.


11 posted on 01/25/2010 11:06:12 AM PST by Comstock1 (You can't have Falstaff and have him thin.)
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To: RobRoy
—my boycott of McD goes back to the early ‘80’s when Mrs. McCrock gave a million dollars to a certain criminal conspiracy which masquerades as a political party—starts with a “D”—
12 posted on 01/25/2010 11:11:52 AM PST by rellimpank (--don't believe anything the MSM tells you about firearms or explosives--NRA Benefactor)
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To: IYAS9YAS

I would agree with you.


13 posted on 01/25/2010 11:12:44 AM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: Responsibility2nd

I think we will agree to disagree. That this kid went this far (5k in legal eagle fees) says alot. Her logo is green, its ‘pointy,’ her last name is McClurky, its a music fest run by her (does she McClurky ‘emcee?’ = Mc?) and the proceeds of all her efforts go to a charity???

I think this isn’t worthy McD’s time...it just makes them look bad and petulant.


14 posted on 01/25/2010 11:16:35 AM PST by PennsylvaniaMom (BOOM! Taste my nightstick! Sarah, making Shatner sound Shakespearean.)
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To: Responsibility2nd
She has a lot of Stupid to overcome.

Product type, logos, colors and font styles are all very relevant factors in a trademark infringement claim. I'm not sure why you think she's stupid based on that quote...

15 posted on 01/25/2010 11:18:40 AM PST by Sloth (Civil disobedience? I'm afraid only the uncivil kind is going to cut it this time.)
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To: rellimpank
—my boycott of McD goes back to the early ‘80’s when Mrs. McCrock gave a million dollars to a certain criminal conspiracy which masquerades as a political party—starts with a “D”—

You do know that by that time, Ray Kroc was dead and Joan Kroc had no business relationship to McDonalds anymore, right? Joan also donated $1.6 billion to the Salvation Army.

16 posted on 01/25/2010 11:25:33 AM PST by Bubba Ho-Tep ("More weight!"--Giles Corey)
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To: Responsibility2nd

>I know she’s only 19. But Geez! She has a lot of Stupid to overcome. Hope she makes it.

Um, in case you hadn’t noticed her name also starts with ‘Mc’... or is the possibly-hubristic tradition of naming things not allowed if there is ANY relation to some pre-existing trademark... remember that the ‘Mc’ isn’t really an uncommon name-beginning.

Also what happens if some guy named McDonald wanted to start his own hardware store?


17 posted on 01/25/2010 11:25:39 AM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: Mr. Lucky

>Unless she has an undeniable connection to some other entity with a similar name, it would appear she’s trading on McDonald’s name.

Her own last name begins with Mc.


18 posted on 01/25/2010 11:26:38 AM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: PennsylvaniaMom
I think this isn’t worthy McD’s time...it just makes them look bad and petulant.

I agree, but having worked for a major brand with scads of intellectual property lawyers, I know that the thinking is that they have to attack every possible infringement for fear of setting a precedent.

19 posted on 01/25/2010 11:28:03 AM PST by Bubba Ho-Tep ("More weight!"--Giles Corey)
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To: IYAS9YAS
Or does McDonald's own the "Mc" in everything?

McNope.

Damn! I just got sued!

20 posted on 01/25/2010 11:29:03 AM PST by Tennessee_Bob (A1C 5.5)
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To: OneWingedShark

Also what happens if some guy named McDonald wanted to start his own hardware store?

__________________________________

Fine. Just as long as he does not name it McDonalds Hardware Store.

Like I said earlier... Right or wrong.... Mickey D’s has the billions of bucks to squash anyone with even a hint of infringement.

I’m NOT defending this. Just stating the obvious.


21 posted on 01/25/2010 11:30:41 AM PST by Responsibility2nd (Free Republic. The BEST place anywhere to PIMP YOUR BLOG)
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To: BobMcCartyWrites

I wonder if Apple would go after her if she called it iFest?


22 posted on 01/25/2010 11:32:15 AM PST by DYngbld (I have read the back of the Book and we WIN!!!!)
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To: Responsibility2nd
http://www.mcdonaldgardencenter.com/

We have a McDonald Garden Center here locally.

23 posted on 01/25/2010 11:35:54 AM PST by DYngbld (I have read the back of the Book and we WIN!!!!)
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To: Responsibility2nd

>Fine. Just as long as he does not name it McDonalds Hardware Store.

Because hardwood and hamburgers are so easily confused!! [/sarc]


24 posted on 01/25/2010 11:36:33 AM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: RobRoy

“I bought a cup of coffee at a mcdonalds in Elgin three years ago. It is the only time I have darkened their door since late 1995.”

Takes you a long time to learn,I quit when their crap between buns were 13 cents or $1/dozen in 1954!


25 posted on 01/25/2010 11:36:47 AM PST by dalereed
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To: OneWingedShark; Responsibility2nd
Because hardwood and hamburgers are so easily confused!! [/sarc]

Well, even if he was selling rocks! As Responsibility2nd said, he's not defending this ...just stating how it works in court.

For instance, what if my last name is Apple and I sell apples. Do you really think I could call my company Apple and expect to get away with it on the premise that 'eating apples and the technology products Apple makes cannot be so easily confused?' I'd have lawyers rising up like Zombies from some b-flick movie.

26 posted on 01/25/2010 11:52:24 AM PST by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
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To: Responsibility2nd

From the appearance of words like “McMansion” in our popular culture, it could be said that the prefix, “Mc” is becoming generic, like elevator, vaseline, scotch tape, etc.


27 posted on 01/25/2010 11:58:47 AM PST by sportutegrl (I was for Sarah Palin before being for Sarah was cool.)
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To: rellimpank; dalereed

Well, to be honest, I avoided them most of my adult life. It was in 95 that I made a conscious effort to just stay away. My kids did eat at Burger King more than I would have liked as well, but sometimes the pressure of the kids and the (ex)wife is just too much. ;)


28 posted on 01/25/2010 12:25:07 PM PST by RobRoy (The US today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: Tennessee_Bob

McYep!

And since my last name is McGregor, I can say that! :)


29 posted on 01/25/2010 12:27:17 PM PST by RobRoy (The US today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: spetznaz

>I’d have lawyers rising up like Zombies from some b-flick movie.

All the more reason to invest in more shotguns and ammo... ;)


30 posted on 01/25/2010 12:33:20 PM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: Bubba Ho-Tep
--maybe she still had a few shares tucked away under the bed.

--that must be a record charitable donation to the Salvation Army, too---

31 posted on 01/25/2010 12:37:53 PM PST by rellimpank (--don't believe anything the MSM tells you about firearms or explosives--NRA Benefactor)
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To: IYAS9YAS
Or does McDonald's own the "Mc" in everything?

I hope not. My name McBullshit and I just started a line of business's with my family called "McBullshits".

We'll see what happens.

FMCDH(BITS)

32 posted on 01/25/2010 3:31:35 PM PST by nothingnew (I fear for my Republic due to marxist influence in our government. Open eyes/see)
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To: AmishDude

Lord MacDonald has already sued them.


33 posted on 01/25/2010 3:39:12 PM PST by Domangart (editor and publisher)
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To: PennsylvaniaMom

Well..this is why none of you are running a multi-national corporation...they HAVE to do this to protect their trademark. It’s nothing personal. If they let one go it starts a precedent.


34 posted on 01/25/2010 5:00:08 PM PST by Hildy
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