by: David Gutierrez
(NaturalNews) McDonald's has initiated a legal battle against 19-year-old Lauren McClusky over her attempt to trademark the name of a charity festival.
After the third year, McClusky filed to make McFest into a registered trademark. McDonald's responded by filing against the request. At first, McClusky said, she was "kind of honored" that McDonald's had even noticed her event.
"But when we realized how serious it was, then it just got ridiculous and offensive," she said. "They just wouldn't listen."
McDonald's financially supports the Special Olympics and has stated that it has no intention of interfering with charitable fundraising.
"However, the law requires us to guard against third parties that infringe our trademarks and to take the necessary action to stop those infringements," spokesperson Ashlee Yingling said. "We believe the mark at issue, 'McFest,' is similar enough to our brand name and McDonald's famous family of 'Mc' trademarks that it's likely to cause confusion under trademark standards and/or dilute our valuable trademark rights."
McDonald's trademarks include McPen, McBuddy, McBurger, McDouble, McFree, McJobs, McLight, McPool, McProduct, McRuler, McShades, McShirt, McWatch and the prefix "Mc."
"But not McFest," McClusky said. "The whole reason I called it McFest in the first place is my name."
Although McDonald's and McClusky have both expressed a desire for a peaceful resolution, they remain in a standoff. McDonald's refuses to withdraw its complaint, and McClusky is unwilling to accept McDonald's sponsorship for her event. Due to the work she has already put into building local awareness and recognition of the fundraiser, she is also unwilling to change the name.
"It's hard to change the name of something that's already established and locally known," she said.