Desperate times call for desperate measures. The McDonald’s trade name is being taken over by a Russian fast food chain named Дядя Ваня pronounced Dyadya Vanya, and known in English as Uncle Vanya.
The chain revealed a near-identical logo of McDonald’s, flipped on its side and turned into a B as in the initial of their last name Ваня. Clever, cunning and possibly unstoppable. The Russian government issued a statement saying patents from unfriendly countries can be used without payment or permission.
In a statement last week, McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said it would temporarily close all 847 of its restaurants in Russia to oppose Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
A trademark registration for the Uncle Vanya franchise was filed last week with Russian authorities, according to media reports. The new name is said to have been inspired by a Russian politician, when on Monday, Vyacheslav Volodin, the chair of the State Duma, is reported to have said all McDonald’s should be replaced by a domestic network called “at Uncle Vanya.”
Whether these applications will be granted is unclear as it takes months to review applications. The Russian government office has stated that the decision on goods and groups of goods will be made by the Russian Federation government. Under this provision, Russia could decide to overturn McDonald’s patents and independently operate their restaurants.
This is not unique to McDonald’s. The feeling now is that unless there is a regime change, you will not be able to protect an IP in Russia.