Frank Yu Kwan Yuen is still celebrating after winning his “David and Goliath” struggle which ended in the High Court.
McDonald’s had tried to prevent the 55-year-old from registering the name McChina Wok Away, claiming that it would confuse customers.
But Mr Justice David Neuberger ruled that the American corporation could not monopolise the “Mc” prefix. Mr Yuen said today: ” Everyone said I was crazy to take on McDonald’s, but I went ahead and I won.
“McDonald’s is too big and they assumed they could just steamroller over a small operator like me. They were wrong.
“This row has been going on for years and it has cost me a great deal of money and stress. But I was determined to stand my ground and not be dismissed by a global bully.”
Champagne flowed at the two London McChinas in South Wimbledon and Merton following the judgement on this week. Staff at other branches in Surrey and Hampshire also raised a toast.
Mr Yuen, who started trading under the McChina name in 1991, had applied to register the name because he wanted to start a national chain.
But a trademarks officer blocked his application after hearing from McDonald’s lawyers.
The Hong Kong-born businessman, who has two grown-up children, appealed against the decision to the High Court.
He describes his takeaways, which serve up specialities such as crispy duck and spring rolls, as “nothing out of the ordinary”.
“I was never any threat to McDonald’s,” explained Mr Yuen. “Why they tried to crush me I will never know. They picked on the wrong person. I now hope to expand the chain and set up McChinas in railway stations and motorway service stations.
“There is little chance of me recovering my £50,000 legal costs but I didn’t do this for the money, I believed in the principle.
“The judge obviously just looked at the law and not at how big and influential McDonald’s is. To claim customers can’t tell the difference between a Chinese takeaway and the world’s best-known burger bar is ridiculous. McDonald’s is not an easy organisation to deal with.”
Mr Yuen, of Farnborough, Hants, claimed McChina stands for ‘Son of China’. He confessed to being a fan of a Big Mac and vowed: “I’ll carry on eating McDonald’s – I think they do delicious food. But whenever I buy a Big Mac now I’ll always have a smile on my face, knowing I took them on and came out on top.”
A McDonald’s spokesman said: “We are examining the judgment but we are not in a position to discuss individual cases.”