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Can a corporation trademark a common Irish surname?

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posted on May, 29 2010 @ 11:01 PM
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reply to post by Desolate Cancer
 





None of you people understand Trademark law. Mcdonalds is required underlaw to defend every instance of possible trademark infringement, or risk losing it.


First of all, "none of you people understand Trademark law", is a gross over generalization that does not accurately reflect every post that has been made in this thread. Secondly, as best I understand it is that McDonald's is arguing that if they acquiesce to McClusky's request for trademark on McFest that this will dilute their own brand name. This puts the burden of proof squarely upon McDonald's, and perhaps it would be in McClusky's best interest to avoid paying any lawyers fees, and simply representing herself pro se, as is befitting a charitable activist, and allowing the subsequent media attention to work in her favor for the purpose she chose to trademark McFest to begin with, and that would be to create a significant charitable event on behalf of The Special Olympics.

It is hard to imagine that McDonald's would be willing to risk the negative publicity that could arguably dilute their brand name in an attempt to argue that a charity event that goes by the name, of not McDonald's Fest mind you, but merely McFest. Of course, McDonald's could threaten to withdraw their support from the Special Olympics to put pressure on them to withdraw support from McClusky, but how would this help McDonald's maintain the integrity of their brand name?

You claim no one understands Trademark law as if this law is some cut and dry Natural Law where every aspect is self evident. It is not a part of Natural Law, but is instead a legislative act that will not necessarily withstand the test of litigation in the same way murder, theft, or fraud would. McDonald's might be able to take this to court and win, but at what cost? Beyond understanding the nuances and intricacies of Trademark law, there are the nuances and intricacies of brand imaging, product loyalty, and profitability. McDonald's won't just be talking to lawyers if this case goes to trial, they will be talking to accountants, and advertising executives, and other management to weigh the cost of litigation against the cost of risking an imagined dilution of brand name because of this case.

Reasonable minds, at this point, would seemingly consider all of this before spouting off just the very, very, absolute basics of Trademark law. As it has been pointed out earlier, McDonald's has made several attempts to have dictionaries re-define the term McJob, in order to offer a more accurate reflection of what they believe they have to offer in terms of employment opportunities, but have remained unsuccessful thus far. It is arguable that this international definition of McJob has attributed to a certain amount of brand name dilution, and certainly has done more damage than a simple name of McFest being used to sponsor an event on behalf of The Special Olympics could. Prudence is the better of valor, and if the McClusky's have the wherewithal to fight this, there is indeed a good chance an amicable settlement can be reached by all parties involved.

[edit on 29-5-2010 by Jean Paul Zodeaux]




posted on May, 29 2010 @ 11:08 PM
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Number of McStoopid Cases


McCoffee (US)
In 1994, McDonald's successfully forced Elizabeth McCaughey of the San Francisco Bay Area to change the trading name of her coffee shop McCoffee, which had operated under that name for 17 years. "This is the moment I surrendered the little 'c' to corporate America," said Elizabeth McCaughey, who had named it as an adaptation of her surname.[8]



McMunchies (UK)
In 1996, McDonald's forced Scottish sandwich shop owner Mary Blair of Fenny Stratford, Buckinghamshire to drop McMunchies as her trading name. Mrs. Blair did not sell burgers or chips. She said she chose the name because she liked the word munchies and wanted the cafe to have a Scottish feel. The cafe's sign reflected this, featuring a Scottish thistle and a St Andrew's flag. But in a statement to Mrs. Blair's solicitors, McDonald's said if someone used the Mc prefix, even unintentionally, they were using something that does not belong to them.[10]



McDumb!


My last name starts with Mc - and my family has a number of business names where they chose the name Mc____

[edit on May 29th 2010 by greeneyedleo]



posted on May, 29 2010 @ 11:36 PM
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reply to post by Desolate Cancer
 


If that's true then why doesn't McDonalds sue Apple for making Macs?



posted on May, 30 2010 @ 12:07 AM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


You make great points and are definitely more knowledgeable about the law in this regard than me.

All I know is that it is up to Mcdonalds to decide what circumstances merit going after and what do not. As such I think the article may not tell the whole truth, what where the designs of the banners or marketing material the girl used, did they have a golden arch in them? did they make any references to anything related to mcdonalds?

It is possible the girl did do more than just use the name mcfest



posted on May, 30 2010 @ 12:19 AM
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reply to post by Desolate Cancer
 


McDonald's has successfully sued other company's for placing Mc before their business or brand name, one of them being a consortium of dentists who offered quick, and affordable dentistry, and went by the name of McDentists. It seems clear from the outset that these dentists were trying to capitalize upon McDonald's reputation for fast service in order to market their own services and as such, McDonald's rightfully won.

I agree with you that we don't know enough about the circumstances, and as I indicated earlier, McDonald's may have very well all ready attempted to work out some sort of deal where they co-sponsor the event so that they may keep their brand Mc in tact while also keeping their public image relatively in tact. However, if they haven't and have imprudently left this up to sterile and thoughtless lawyers who have no real acumen for public image, then threads such as these, that is not at all limited to this site, can do much in convincing McDonald's to also accept counsel outside of lawyers in this regard.



posted on May, 30 2010 @ 09:54 AM
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This just shows the arrogance of these corporations. They have too much power and the courts will rule in favor of the more powerful entity most of the time.

Take Apple vs. Apple for instance. en.wikipedia.org...

Also see Disney writ.news.findlaw.com... who was able to extend a copyright past public domain limitations even though they have made billions by using public domain titles for decades.



posted on May, 30 2010 @ 10:12 AM
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Mmmmmmmm....

Gotta love the formaldehyde hammmmmburgar!!!!!!



posted on May, 30 2010 @ 10:14 AM
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Originally posted by muzzleflash
An honest corporation would offer to purchase it, if they actually planned to use it.

But if they wanted it in the first place, they would have filed McFest a long time ago and secured it.

So in all reality, the girls own the word now and if McD's doesn't like that they will have to purchase it.

The fact they filed a lawsuit shows they are not friendly or nice or cool.

They suck and are acting like scum.

I do not recognize copyrights on prefixes or suffixes. It is totally illogical.


Totally agree. Not to mention this is a fundraiser for the special Olympics right? Is it me or does that make it even worse that they would try and screw anything up that has to do with such an event?



posted on May, 30 2010 @ 10:18 AM
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Next thing you know they will start suing Rap-Musicians starting with "MC" in their name.



posted on May, 30 2010 @ 10:18 AM
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reply to post by Nosred
 


Because Mac and Mc are two different prefixes. I believe one is Scottish, the other Irish.



posted on May, 30 2010 @ 10:19 AM
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Whale Isle beef hooked.(say that to sound irish.)

This is just stupid.
What is wrong with people.
This is another reason(in my very long list or reasons) why I don't and won't eat McDonalds.



posted on May, 30 2010 @ 10:30 AM
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We should counter this move of McDonalds by using their burgernames for swearwords.... Would love to see my child get kicked out of class for saying "Stupid McChicken" or "MCNUGGETS!! I stepped on a turd!!!!" great way to give a bad vibe to the whole corporation...



posted on May, 30 2010 @ 10:36 AM
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This is completely tasteless, if they are going to such measures should they not also demand royalties for "McLovin" from the movie superbad?

If she used her full surname I doubt this suit would have come about, if it did then im sure she could counter sue on the grounds of unfair business monopolies regarding copyright and infringment as 'Donalds' have as much right as a "Clusky" or "Graw" etc.



posted on May, 30 2010 @ 10:39 AM
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If you are really concerned....

give a McPinion at...

www.mcdonalds.com...

I'm sure they would McLove to hear from McYou!



posted on May, 30 2010 @ 06:13 PM
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Take a look at nissan.com... The guy (named Nissan) fought in court for his domain and name, and won. It has been going on for many years in the 1990's.

I say, we should create a new fasfood chain named MacDonalds and tweek the color to a slightly different shade of yellow and make burgers tht are actually goods! That should give a good run for their McLawyers.

Seriously tough, aside some stupid teenagers, who gives a care about them anyway? Food is crappy and it's not like really on the cheap side either.

That was my 2¢CAN



posted on May, 31 2010 @ 11:20 AM
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reply to post by stonergeek
 


Nope, mac and mc are common in both Scottish and Irish names. But you're right, McDonalds doesn't have any trademarks that have the word 'mac' in them.

Now if you'll excuse me I'm going out to buy one of those big hamburgers. What do they call them, Big Mcs?



posted on May, 31 2010 @ 11:21 AM
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reply to post by stonergeek
 


Nope, mac and mc are common in both Scottish and Irish names. But you're right, McDonalds doesn't have any trademarks that have the word 'mac' in them.

Now if you'll excuse me I'm going out to buy one of those big hamburgers. What do they call them, Big Mcs?



posted on May, 31 2010 @ 11:48 AM
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Any company can trademark anything - words phrases that they commonly use. What the court has to decide is if this is trademark infringement

I do not believe it is. This girl has a legit claim to use the Mc in this manner because it's is part of her name. If the use of Mc does not allude to or pretend to be associated with McDonald's in any way, she should win the case.

The Oxford English Dictionary people entered the word "McJob" in their dictionary. McDonald's made them take it out in the next printing. In this case the term McJob was clearly associated with McDonald's.

If McDonald's wins this case, the judge should be hanged. It will be a very sad day for sure.

But.. it will also set a standard, so go out and trademark all your names and sue the hell out of all companies who use it :-) KIDDING

I don't eat at McDonald's. Their food taste horrible. Burger King is the way better. Flame Broiled over fried burger please any day.

For even better eat at a Buds Broiler if they have them in your city.



posted on Jun, 1 2010 @ 07:59 AM
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Originally posted by Desolate Cancer
None of you people understand Trademark law. Mcdonalds is required underlaw to defend every instance of possible trademark infringement, or risk losing it.

A couple years ago there was a kid who started a webservice under his own personal name which was Michael Soft if my memory serves me right. And microsoft sued him, same thing people got all upset, but most people dont understand that it is required under trademark law for the holder to go after all these instances.



It is still not right. So basically if I wanted to start a company and my last name started with mc then that means I can't? This country is so jacked up.



posted on Jun, 1 2010 @ 08:02 AM
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Originally posted by JohnPhoenix
Any company can trademark anything - words phrases that they commonly use. What the court has to decide is if this is trademark infringement

I do not believe it is. This girl has a legit claim to use the Mc in this manner because it's is part of her name. If the use of Mc does not allude to or pretend to be associated with McDonald's in any way, she should win the case.

The Oxford English Dictionary people entered the word "McJob" in their dictionary. McDonald's made them take it out in the next printing. In this case the term McJob was clearly associated with McDonald's.

If McDonald's wins this case, the judge should be hanged. It will be a very sad day for sure.

But.. it will also set a standard, so go out and trademark all your names and sue the hell out of all companies who use it :-) KIDDING

I don't eat at McDonald's. Their food taste horrible. Burger King is the way better. Flame Broiled over fried burger please any day.

For even better eat at a Buds Broiler if they have them in your city.



I have not eaten at mcdonald's in a long time. Their prices are outrageous for something small. I can get the same price, but bigger portions at whataburger or burger king.



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