A tiny burger store in western Sydney has been left bewildered following a threat of legal action from McDonald’s after releasing a weekly special “deceptively similar” to the company’s Big Mac.
Penrith’s Burger Head received a letter warning of the “misuse of McDonald’s well-known trademarks” after the company announced it would be selling the “Better Mac” burger for 13 days this month.
“You’ve seen @mcdonadsau bring out the bigger better Big Mac and the Grand Mac … Here’s our take on things,” the company wrote on a social media post regarding the special on January 13.
We could list the ingredients, but you all know what’s in this.”
McDonald’s hit back with a cease and desist letter, calling for the burger shop to remove any posts relating the alleged trade-mark infringement.
“You would be well aware that you have not been authorised by McDonald’s to use the Offending Mark in relation to the Offending Promotion,” McDonald’s wrote.
“We therefore request that you take immediate steps to cease all use of the Offending Mark including removing the Offending Promotion from your social media platforms, and other websites or media.
“We trust you will appreciate the seriousness of the issues raised above and that this matter will not need to be escalated to our external lawyers for further action.”
Burger Head co-founders Joshua DeLuca and Timothy Rosenstrauss said they were shocked when they received the cease and desist letter from the fast food giant.
“We can understand why they came to us, but at the end of the day we’re just a small business,” Mr DeLuca told nine.com.au.
The small business owner said the burger store wouldn’t be entering a legal battle against the multinational corporation and will comply McDonald’s request.
“It was a little bit cheeky on our behalf, but we’ll edit the post the reflect the changes they requested,” he said.
Mr DeLuca also joked that the burger was not “deceptively similar” to the Big Mac as the letter suggests.
“We handmake all the beef, pickles and sauces in store – something very different to McDonald’s,” he said.
McDonald’s defended the legal threat by saying the burger store knowingly infringed the copyright on the Big Mac.
“This is simply a marketing ploy to leverage our well-established and iconic brand,” a spokeswoman told nine.com.au
“We hold no issue with the burgers themselves, however the name and promotion are infringing on our trademark by clearly mirroring our famous Big Mac.”