Fast food giant loses in McDonald's vs. McCurry tiff

Tue Sep 8, 2009 1:08am EDT
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PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (Reuters) - Fast food giant McDonald's on Tuesday lost an eight-year trademark battle against a Malaysian curry restaurant after the country's highest court allowed the latter to use the prefix 'Mc'.

Malaysia's Federal Court dismissed an application by McDonald's Corporation to appeal against an earlier Appeals Court judgment which allowed McCurry to use the prefix.

Chief Judge of Malaya Ariffin Zakaria, reading the verdict of the three-person Federal Court in the administrative capital, said McDonald's had failed to properly frame its questions when applying to challenge the Appeals Court's earlier verdict.

"It is unfortunate that we have to dismiss the application with costs," Ariffin said.

McCurry, which is short for "Malaysian Chicken Curry," serves Malaysian staples including fish head curry, according to the company website (

"We feel great that this eight-year legal battle is finally over, and we can now go ahead with whatever we plan to do such as opening new branches," McCurry owner P. Suppiah told Reuters after the court decision.

McDonald's, which has 185 outlets in Malaysia, first sued the curry restaurant in 2001 and a High Court ruled in favor of the international fast food chain in 2006.

McCurry then took the matter up to the Court of Appeal, which ruled in favor of the Malaysian restaurant. McDonald's subsequently took the matter to the Federal Court.

The McDonald's operation in this country of 27 million people is run as a franchise by prominent businessman Vincent Tan.

(Reporting by Royce Cheah; Editing by Sugita Katyal)

<p>Customers arrive at McCurry Restaurant in Kuala Lumpur September 4, 2009. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad</p>