McDonald’s blocks “Wandefu”

July 9, 2003
McDonald’s blocks “Wandefu”On July 9th, 2003, McDonald’s Company submitted a trademark opposition proposal of more than 1000 pages to the State Trademark Office in opposition against a Chinese trademark, “Wandefu,” which recently was published in the trademark gazette. McDonald’s claims that the logo of the Chinese trademark, “W,” is approximate to its logo, “M,” which is capable of causing confusion and thus potentially misleading customers. Moreover, McDonald’s believes the logo “W” will dilute the value of McDonald’s trademark “M.” Meanwhile, the trademark “Wandefu” has continued to be heavily publicized. McDonald’s worries that if the trademark office approves the registration of the logo for “Wandefu,” it will not only encroach the rights of dozens its franchise partners in China, but also damage its consumer’s interests.

The well-known designer, Hanyi, designed the logo of the trademark “Wandefu”. He filed a trademark registration with the trademark office on November 6, 2001. Just looking at the Chinese trademark separately, one can hardly connect the logo with McDonald’s. However, in the event the logo becomes a well-known trademark, it will constitute a direct threat to McDonald’s trademark. In March 2002, the “Wandefu” trademark was reported by several well-known media companies. They believe the Chinese trademark is utilizing the popularity of McDonald’s logo for its own benefit.

Hanyi immediately reacted to the accusations made by McDonald’s concerning his logo. Engaging senior intellectual property right lawyers and calling in a reporter’s news briefing on July 2, 2003, he announced his rebuttal to McDonald’s claims. Hanyi’s response put forth by his lawyer clarifies the logo’s design, meaning, and its originality of the trademark. He denied the objection that McDonald’s had put forward. Currently, the case is in the course of trial.