McDonald in Dispute

McDonald in Dispute

McDonald’s local franchisee Rusi Pestonjee is to challenge the ex-parte enjoining order issued against him over a dispute concerning the sale of shares.

Pestonjee owns 98% stake in International Restaurant Systems Ltd., the local franchisee of McDonald’s.

Colombo Commercial High Court Judge Sumith Perera last week issued an enjoining order preventing Pestonjee from using the name McDonald’s in any way as well as sale of its food menu in 11 outlets until 4 April.

The Court made this order consequent to a lawsuit filed by McDonald’s Corporation, US seeking the court’s jurisdiction under the provisions of the Intellectual Property Act, No. 36 of 2003.

The plaintiff stated that it has terminated the right of the defendant to use the name McDonald’s or any name in any way or manner similar to the name McDonald’s and to use any name which would convey to the public that the said restaurants/outlets is in any way or manner connected to McDonald’s.

The plaintiff stated that the basis of the Development Agreement entered into in August 1997 has ceased to exist due to the actions of the defendant. The plaintiff further stated that the plaintiff does not desire the defendant to be a franchisee and to operate any restaurant under the name McDonald’s.

Dr. Romesh De Silva PC instructed by Sanath Wijewardane appeared for the plaintiff.

A spokesperson for the franchisee told the Daily FT that McDonald’s action is related to sale of shares and not due to hygienic issues as widely reported.

“As per the agreement Pestonjee is required to sell only up to 50% ownership of the local franchise entity but McDonald’s is demanding 100%. We will be contesting the enjoining order,” the spokesperson added.

(Daily FT)

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