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Indian curry house makes McDonald’s see red PDF Print E-mail

© Neena Bhandari

SYDNEY:  An Indian curry house on the central coast of the new South Wales state is giving the Big Mac a heartburn. What has stirred spice is the red and yellow colours used on the newly-opened Anisha’s Family Restaurant’s advertisement boards, prompting McDonald’s to write 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 foodchain McDonald’s 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 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 the Big Mac. The Mac 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.

Jintoorkar, who also runs the Bellbird Resort in this popular holiday and surfing destination located 95 km north of Sydney, said: ‘‘They are threatening me to withdraw the logo application or face prosecution. I have been told that the legal process to determine the legality of my logo may take between three and five years and cost up to $100,000, but I am going to fight this.’’

Married to an Australian and settled here with their three kids, Jintoorkar’s slogan, ‘‘You’ll love it,’’ has also outraged McDonald’s, which claims it is too similar to their ‘‘I’m lovin’ it’’ catchword. Despite the steam, this modern ethnic restaurant is being well received.

‘‘I have come a long way from washing dishes in an Indian restaurant in Sydney. Anisha’s family restaurant has seating for 100 guests inside and 80 on the balcony in a tranquil bushland setting,’’ Jintoorkar said.

He has also flown in a special biryani chef from Hyderabad, chillies from Guntur and logoed cutlery from India to serve the best South Indian cuisine. — (PTI August 2004)

© Copyright Neena Bhandari. All rights reserved. Republication, copying or using information from any www.india-voice.com content is expressly prohibited without  the permission of the writer and the news agency through which the article is syndicated.    

 
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