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Indian eatery ruffles McDonald's feathers

August 16, 2004 12:05 IST

An Indian curry house on the central coast of the New South Wales state is giving the Big Mac a heartburn.

What has stirred things up is the red and yellow colours used on the newly-opened Anisha's Family Restaurant's advertisement boards, prompting McDonald's to shoot off a letter pointing out trademark violation.

While the Hyderabad-born owner, Anil Jintoorkar, feels that red (kumkum) and yellow (haldi) are the traditional, auspicious Indian colours and also proven marketing colours, the multinational fast food chain McDonalds thinks red and yellow are 'their colours.'

"I had applied for trademark four months ago, which was initially accepted. I opened the board on August 5. It is named after my daughter Anisha. I have used a single arch to represent 'A' while the Big Mac uses two arches on a red and yellow background," explains Jintoorkar, who is planning to open a franchise in Hyderabad in the next year.

No sooner had he opened the doors of the family restaurant than a threatening letter arrived from McDonald's about his trademark-pending logo, colour scheme and slogan.

The lawyers of Big Mac claim that Mac's burger lovers could be fooled into buying his curry puffs.

"Nobody is going to walk into an Indian restaurant thinking it is a McDonald's. McDonald's is thinking that I am passing off or trying to profit from their image, but curry is a niche market," Jintoorkar, who migrated to Australia in 1987 with a marketing background from Vienna, said.

Neena Bhandari in Sydney
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