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McDonald's vigilant in enforcing trademark rights

Originally published in AdvocateDaily.com

Unauthorized use of McDonald’s “Mc” trademark can depreciate the value of the goodwill in McDonald’s registered marks, Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson tells Global News.

Simpson makes his comments in connection with news that a family owned restaurant was forced to change its name from Mc’Ramyun to Mo’Ramyun after it received a complaint from the global fast-food chain.

“McDonald’s wants to, and to a certain degree, needs to protect a zone of exclusivity around ‘Mc’ and ‘Mac’ for food services and various food products,” says Simpson, principal of Shift Law. “To do that they need to be vigilant.”

A representative for McDonald’s told Global, “When we become aware of a trademark infringement we take steps to contact the business and resolve the matter.”

In addition to owning the Mc and Mac trademarks, Global reports that McDonald’s owns close to 100 trademarks including Big Mac, Quarter Pounder and McChicken.

Simpson tells Global that McDonald’s enforcement of its trademark rights isn’t just about avoiding consumer confusion, it’s also about “whether your use of ‘Mc’ is likely to depreciate the value of the goodwill in McDonald’s registered marks.”

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