Lauren McClusky: Chicago Teen In Legal Battle With McDonald's Over Name Of Local Charity Event

Fast food giant McDonald's, fearing that a local charity concert called "McFest" thrown by a 19-year-old Chicago woman would somehow confuse people, is challenging the teen over what they claim is a violation of trademark, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Lauren McClusky, daughter of music promoter Jeff McClusky, started McFest in 2007 as an annual charity concert featuring "high school and college bands to benefit the Chicago chapter of Special Olympics," the Sun-Times reports. The benefit's name is based on "McClusky" but when she went to register the event--which has raised $30,000 for the cause to date--McDonalds had a McProblem with it:

...McDonald's Corp. filed a challenge. In its petition last August, it claimed her use of the McFest name would be linked to the chain, which has already registered a "Mc" family of trademarked words including Mc$ave, McButton, McRule, McFree and plain old Mc.

People with Irish surnames everywhere--watch out!

Instead of slinking away and axing the name, McClusky paid $5,000 to respond to McDonalds' challenge, the Sun-Times reports:

"It helps so many Special Olympic kids in Chicago. Why take away my name, my funds and my event?" she asked in an e-mail from her studies abroad. "It matters not just to me, but more importantly, the Special Olympic kids who get so much from it.''

McDonald's spokeswoman Ashlee Yingling told the Sun-Times the chain does not want to end the concerts--they just want McClusky to use a different name. Perhaps something completely free of the letters "m" and "c"?

Read the whole story here.