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McDonald's accused of piracy by Fritz Hansen

Wednesday 10 October 2007

Fast food chain McDonald\'s may have to change its plans for revamping thousands of its European stores after being accused of \"piracy\" by a Scandinavian furniture supplier.
Fritz Hansen, the maker of chairs and furniture designed by the iconic Danish architect Arne Jacobsen, said yesterday it would cease all supplies to McDonalds, claiming it \"could not co-operate with a group that accepted piracy and set aside intellectual property rights\".
\"At a time when the European Union, the US government, the World Trade Organisation and even China are trying to safeguard international property rights, we simply cannot countenance co-operating with a group we see as accepting piracy,\" said the company\'s managing director Jacob Holm.
Arne Jacobsen chairs, including The Egg, The Seven and The Swan are seen as timeless, elegant pieces of Scandinavian modernist design, and are an integral part of the McDonald\'s strategy to give its fast-food restaurants a facelift and revamp dull decor with upmarket designer fittings.
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However, Fritz Hansen has accused the company of installing \"pirate\" copies of the furniture in a number of stores. It said it was stopping deliveries to McDonald\'s immediately, even though it would cost the company \"millions in lost sales\".
\"The fact that McDonald\'s has chosen to use pirated copies is even more surprising since the company itself is legendary across the world in pursuing trademark and copyright suits to safeguard its product and name,\" Mr Holm said.
McDonald\'s admitted using chairs that were similar-looking reproductions of the iconic designs, but said the company had not acted improperly.
(Reprinted from The Telegraph, 9 October 2007)

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