Putting their money where their mouth is, McDonalds has actually shut its doors in Russia, joining dozens of firms abandoning the country after Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, but it may face difficulty if it intends to reopen. A Russian option, Uncle Vanya, appears to be getting ready to take its coveted position in the fast-food market, bearing an unusually familiar logo. (They don’t waste much do they…)
Trademark squatting has begun in Russia.
On March 12th, a trademark application was filed for the McDonald's logo with the words "Uncle Vanya."
The Russian State Duma had earlier suggested that Russia would replace all McDonald's with "Uncle Vanya's."
— Josh Gerben (@JoshGerben) March 16, 2022
On March 12, Uncle Vanya sent a new trademark filing with a yellow and red logo which seems very similar to the globally familiar Golden Arches of McDonalds. The logo consists of the generally well-known arches, but it is slanted 90 degrees to the right. The arches develop part of the letter “B” in the Cyrillic alphabet, which represents the “V” in “Vanya.”.
Uncle Vanya hasn’t opened new locations as of yet. The plan seems to be to take over existing McDonald’ locations.
According to the Washington Post, Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of Russia’s lower residence in parliament, suggested Russian brands must take control of McDonalds places.
“They announced they are closing. Well, okay, close. But tomorrow in those locations we should have not McDonald’s, but Uncle Vanya’s,” he said.
The Russian government has considered regulatory action that allows Russians to disregard trademarks, patents, and copyrights owned by entities from countries that Moscow deems as hostile.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin recommended a plan to nationalize foreign-owned businesses that have actually left the country as a result of its invasion into Ukraine. He said Russia must “introduce external management” on business exiting the country “and then transfer these enterprises to those who want to work.”
The action taken by Russian leadership makes it possible for Uncle Vanya to fill deep space left by McDonalds.
McDonalds has said it would maintain paying workers’ wages in Ukraine, where McDonalds had 108 shops before the war. The business made the very same promise for workers in Russia, where the company had almost 850 shops and 62,000 workers.
In an e-mail to workers, Chris Kempczinski, the chief executive of McDonalds, said that it was impossible to predict when the company might reopen in Russia because of ”disruptions to our supply chain along with other operational impacts.”
We will be temporarily closing all restaurants and pausing all operations in Russia. Click to read the message from our CEO in its entirety: https://t.co/ncoB2A8GC6
— McDonald's (@McDonalds) March 8, 2022