Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Saturday 3 February 2007

Churlish behaviour forces restaurant name-change in Glasgow

At least this was my reaction when I read this unusual story about the former Hemingway's restaurant in Glasgow, soon to be reincarnated as Café Noir as a result of legal pressure at the instigation of the family of the writer Ernest Hemingway.

This reminded me of the even more bizarre (and even more churlish and wrong-headed) demand by a certain fast-food company quite a few years ago that a man change the name of his restaurant which he had named using his own name. His name was of course McDonald; so far as I recall Mr McDonald operated his resturant in some place in Argyllshire in the west of Scotland where McDonald is not exactly an unusual name - it outraged me then and outrages me still that some jumped-up junk-food company could register a perfectly valid name as its own 'property' and forbid a man who actually was born with that name from using it in his business, specially when the junk-food company was not [any longer] owned or operated by someone of that name but by someone called Ray Kroc, who had bought the original business from the man who started it. Of course this was in the days before this company went some way to clean up its act, at least in jurisdictions where it was forced to.

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