RICH­MOND’S fa­mous Cor­ner Ho­tel is tak­ing on McDon­ald’s in a bat­tle over the fast-food gi­ant’s use of the same name for a cafe in Sydney.

The Swan St pub claims McDon­ald’s breached its trade­marks when it opened The Cor­ner McCafe in 2014 in in­ner-city Cam­per­down.

It was de­scribed as a “lab,” to test po­ten­tial new menu items, and does not share the ex­te­rior livery of tra­di­tional McDon­ald’s out­lets.

Staff have swapped out the usual drab McDon­ald’s uni­forms for denim and leather strap aprons, with food served on wooden sand­wich boards.

The Cor­ner Ho­tel has long been a Mel­bourne mu­sic venue, and fea­tures a rooftop beer gar­den and din­ing.

In a state­ment of claim lodged with the Fed­eral Court, the pub’s par­ent com­pany, Swan­com, says it trade­marked the name “Cor­ner” in re­la­tion to the “pro­vi­sion of food and drink, cock­tail lounge, bar, cafe, snack bar and res­tau­rant ser­vices; cater­ing ser­vices; hos­pi­tal­ity ser­vices” in 2011. In 2015, it took out a sec­ond trade­mark for “The Cor­ner”.

The pub claims McDon­ald’s has com­mit­ted a fla­grant breach, as its cafe has con­tin­ued trad­ing de­spite Swan­com alert­ing McDon­ald’s to its copy­right on eight oc­ca­sions via lawyers’ let­ters and emails.

The mat­ter came to a head when McDon­ald’s Asia-Pa­cific ap­plied to reg­is­ter the cafe’s logo, which Swan­com ar­gues is iden­ti­cal or de­cep­tively sim­i­lar to its trade­marks.

The pub claims McDon­ald’s has prof­ited from al­legedly wrong­ful con­duct, while it has suf­fered dam­age to its com­mer­cial rep­u­ta­tion and good­will, and lost sales.

Swan­com has asked the court for an in­junc­tion ban­ning McDon­ald’s from us­ing The Cor­ner name or logo, and is seek­ing un­spec­i­fied dam­ages, in­ter­est and costs.

McDon­ald’s de­clined to say if it would re­name the cafe, de­fend the mat­ter, or con­tinue its ap­pli­ca­tion to reg­is­ter the logo.

“We do take th­ese mat­ters very se­ri­ously, but we can’t com­ment on lit­i­ga­tion,” said spokes­woman Ju­lia Buck­land.

Matt Everitt and Tim North­east, own­ers of The Cor­ner Ho­tel, at their rooftop bar.



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