McDonald’s Hates McCharities

Siouxsie is no Morgan Spurlock, but trust her

when she says “don’t eat here.”

Lauren McClusky, a nineteen-year-old go-getter from Chicago, is at the center of a legal dispute with McDonald’s over a series of concert charity events she organized.  McClusky and a co-organizer both have the “Mc” prefix in their last name; and so, they called the charity event McFest.  [Source]

McClusky used the name McFest for two years without any objection from McDonald’s.  She raised over $30,000 for the Chicago chapter of the Special Olympics.  When McClusky attempted to register the name McFest, McDonald’s decided to use its significant legal muscle to oppose it.  [Source]

McClusky had to hire lawyers to answer a series of administrative proceedings [that] McDonald’s filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. To date, it [has] cost her roughly $5,000 — money she wishes had gone to Special Olympics kids instead of attorneys.  [Source]

Nice work McDonald’s.  Way to support the Special Olympics.

McDonald’s argues that it had no choice but to thwart the teenager’s efforts to raise money for the Special Olympics.  They assert that the name McFest will dilute their brand name.

McDonald’s is known for fighting any company that attempts to trademark a name using the “Mc” prefix.  In the United States, it has successfully opposed many attempts by companies to use the “Mc” prefix in their name.  These companies include McBagels (bagels), McTeddy (handmade bears dressed in adorable Scottish clothing), McDental Group (dentists), and McClaim (legal services).   [See source]

But to oppose a not-for-profit charity run by a nineteen-year-old kid, one which donates its money to the same charity for which McDonald’s raises funds, is flat-out absurd.

If McDonald’s feels the need to stoop so low to protect its McOpoly on the “Mc” prefix, then Siouxsie Law has a McMessage for them.  McFuck off, you dimwitted McFacists.  McLeave this McCharity alone or McFace the McWrath of McStreisand.

Photo Credit:


~ by siouxsielaw on January 21, 2010.

7 Responses to “McDonald’s Hates McCharities”

  1. I understand that McDonald’s must legally take steps to protect its mark. However, I agree with you and think that McD’s looks bad here. McDonald’s could have filed their objection to McFest, then sent Ms. McClusky a check for $10,000 to cover her legal fees and more. That didn’t happen. Ronald and his crew could have handled this situation in a better manner.

  2. This is simpily a big corpoation trying to use thier muscle (money) to control someone. Hopefully this will go to trial and they (the court system) will inlist me as a juror, then we can go and make them McPay for them McWaisting everyones McTime! McFest is a great name.

  3. Ooh…. Souxsie! I am so disappointed in you! You’re much too skeptical and cynical to buy this sob story hook, line, and sinker, aren’t you? Here, read my post on it then re-examine the issue.

    • Who can resist the McAsshat joke? Your post, as always, is spot on. I’m lovin it. Badabababa. But I can’t sympathize with McDonald’s here. Even you admit that the likelihood is pretty low that the registration of McFest would cause any problems for them. And if McD’s wanted to avoid looking like jerks they should have made it clear that they were just going through the motions to protect their marks from any possible “ever-so-slight erosion” and they should have given her charity a large no-strings-attached donation. Problem solved. That would have made her look like a whiner.

      • I am not sure if the reports are true, but the comments from the McDonalds’ people suggest that they did offer her a donation. It seems that they offered to take the TM, but to license it back to her and to give her some money. Thats what I make of the comments in the really bad journalism about this story.

        There, quite simply, is no reason for her to need a registration. Furthermore, her story about naming this just “after herself” is baloney! Then why not name it the McClusky Fest?

        I hate McDonalds as much as anyone. I wish that every one of their restaurants would fold up and fall into a pit, just like the house did at the end of Poltergeist. But, the truth is the truth.

      • McDonald’s failure to clearly and simply articulate their efforts to deal with the situation is part of the problem. McDonald’s should have filed their opposition and sent McFest a large donation with no strings attached. Then, they would have been able to explain their position in terms that any not-so-great journalist could understand. But they didn’t.

        And from what I read, this couldn’t be named “McClusky Fest” because there were two Mcs involved (or so she claims). But this sounds a little silly. I agree that it is pretty unlikely that she just likes the ring of the Mc prefix. Prior to the McDonald’s empire, no one used Mc for anything except as a slur.

        But as far as her wanting a registration, I don’t understand why she wouldn’t want one. I would think she would want the registration for security. What if she ever needs to file a trademark infringement suit of her own in the future? Or wouldn’t she want to block anyone else from registering McFest?

        I agree with your entire legal analysis. But McDonald’s still sucks for this move. They could have handled this one totally differently.

        But the real lesson here is that there is a huge anti-McDonald’s bias in the blogosphere to exploit. Therefore, I am going to register McCharity and McSiouxsie and get some McPublicity for my blog.

        I intend use these marks to advertise my Goth charity and honor my next door neighbors, the MacDonalds. I hope that McDonald’s will give me a settlement offer, too. If so, I will use the proceeds from the settlement to help less fortunate and retarded Goths everywhere to be more elegant. I just need to find a really good IP attorney to take my case.

  4. […] McDonald’s v. McFest — McDonalds tries to prevent a 19-year-old girl, who has a Mc surname herself, from trademarking and using the prefix Mc for her charity, which she named “McFest.” Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Valentine’s Day — Try a Black Heart-Shaped Box This YearFluevog Shoe P∅rnOooo Scary. Online Activities Can Come Back to Haunt Individuals in Court.Peeps Show […]

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