Cambodian fast food outlet BB World will change its logo next week because it is has been ruled by the government to be too similar to that of international burger giant McDonalds, Chy Sila, BB World general manager, said Wednesday.
Var Roth San, director of the Intellectual Property Department at the Ministry of Commerce, confirmed Wednesday that his department ordered the logo change two to three months ago.
“It is a W but the shape is too similar to the M of McDonalds and people may become confused,” he said of BB World’s current logo.
Var Roth San said that while the government has enforced trademark law since 1991, it is especially interested in enforcing it now as a tool to promote trade and investment.
“If we do not protect intellectual property, especially that of foreigners, then investment will not come here,” he said.
McDonalds registered 18 trademarks on Aug 10, 1992.
Chy Sila said the new BB World logo will be unveiled next week.
“You have to meet the criteria. That is why we have our new logo. Next week we will change it at Soriya shopping mall,” Chy Sila said.
The BB World branch on Sihanouk Boulevard will be outfitted with new signs soon, Chy Sila said.
Since joining the World Trade Organization in September, Cambodia is expected to abide by trade agreements that demand intellectual property protection.
“According to the demands of the [WTO], Cambodia must set up a commercial court in 2005,” Var Roth San said.
“Whenever your sign’s color or shape is too similar to another company then you have a problem,” he said.
Var Roth San said that last year he demanded a restaurant in Siem Reap change its name because it was actually calling itself McDonalds.
“We received a letter from the attorney for McDonalds,” he said. “There is no sign that McDo-nalds is coming to Cambodia but they want to have their marks protected.”
Ty To, the owner of Mondo Burger and Drink in Phnom Penh said Wednesday that his “MD” logo, which resembles McDonalds’ golden arches logo in shape and color, was approved by the Ministry of Commerce years ago and he has no plans to change it.