KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's highest court said it will consider Tuesday whether to allow US fast food giant McDonald's to pursue an eight-year trademark battle against local eating house "McCurry".
"We are praying that the decision will be in our favour," said McCurry owner Kanages Suppiah, who has refused to remove the "Mc" prefix from her eatery which serves up traditional dishes like tandoori chicken and fish masala.
In April, the appeals court overturned a 2006 high court decision that McCurry had illegally infringed on the burger chain's trademark. The federal court will now decide if McDonald's can contest the appeals court decision.
Judge Arifin Zakaria, heading a three-member panel at the federal court, asked McDonald's counsel to reword its petition in the case.
"Come back tomorrow," Arifin told the hearing.
Lawyer Sri Dev Nair who is representing McCurry said the court would make its decision on Tuesday.
"The questions McDonald's filed are not clear, so they want them to reframe the questions," he told reporters, rejecting the food giant's assertion that the Mc prefix is clearly associated with its business.
"One is typical Malaysian Indian food and the other is American fast food. How can there be an association?" Sri Dev said. "Reasonable people will not associate McCurry with McDonald's."
"McDonald's is pushing this purely to get a monopoly on the prefix. There cannot be a monopoly on surnames," he added.
The McCurry restaurant, which owners say is short for Malaysian Chicken Curry Restaurant, was established in 1999. McDonald's has 185 outlets in Malaysia, the first of which it opened in 1982.