Norwich burger van owner Matty C's sees off legal threat from McDonald's
PUBLISHED: 15:41 27 February 2018 | UPDATED: 07:50 28 February 2018
Archant Norfolk 2018
The owner of a burger van on a Norwich industrial estate has seen off a legal threat from McDonald's, after he was accused of infringing the fast food giant's trademark.
Matthew Coldham, 35, was stunned when an eight page letter from solicitors acting on behalf of McDonald’s was hand delivered to him over the van he runs from Meteor Close on Norwich Airport Industrial Estate.
The solicitors claimed Mr Coldham’s logo for Matty C’s Burger Shack was “a play” on the McDonald’s nickname of Maccy D’s.
They also said the golden M of Matty was similar to the famous Golden Arches of the fast food restaurants and the closeness of the M next to the C was also considered as an infringement.
Mr Coldham, who lives in Newton Flotman, said: “When I first got the letter, I thought it was a joke. I couldn’t believe it, as I’m just a small independent trader with a van on an industrial estate. “But when I rang the solicitors and found out it was real, my heart did skip a beat.”
When Mr Coldham, who has had the burger van based in Meteor Close for only a couple of months, called the solicitors, they said McDonald’s would cover £500 of the costs for him to rebrand.
But he was determined to stick with his logo, which had been designed by a friend. He said: “I feel I haven’t done anything wrong. Matty C is my name and it was red and yellow just because I wanted it to stand out.
“I’m in a van on an industrial estate. I really don’t think I’m a threat to McDonald’s. All my customers think it’s ridiculous. They’ve never thought I was trying to be like McDonald’s.
“If you look at my menu I do things like a Maple bacon waffle. I’ve been a chef on and off for six years and I just wanted to bring something a bit different.”
McDonald’s have now told Mr Coldham that they will not take the matter further for now, although they have said they will “monitor” Mr Coldham’s branding to ensure it does not change to become more associated with their trademarks.
a McDonald’s spokesperson said: “It’s important that we protect our intellectual property and brand. However, we have been in conversation with Mr Coldham and have already communicated to him that we currently have no plans to take this matter any further.”