Restaurant Chain Battles McDonalds Over Texas Burger
Apr. 17, 1990
LAKE JACKSON, Texas (AP) _ It could be called a case of Texas hamburglary.
But to Lake Jackson restaurateur Richard Cox, the flap over McDonald's ''Texas Homestyle Burger'' is no laughing matter.
''We have been using the Texas burger concept for 17 years,'' said Cox, owner of the Red Top restaurant chain that features ''Texas Style Burgers.''
''They copied everything we did,'' Cox, 45, said Monday. ''They thought it was a good idea and went ahead and used it, and they didn't think anyone would challenge them.''
Cox has sued and has obtained an injunction against McDonald's using the name in ads in his end of Brazoria County until June 4, when the case is to be tried.
The man who heads the corporation that owns the six McDonald's in the county is doing some challenging of his own.
''He is trying to portray himself as a small independent businessman run over by a large corporation,'' said Robert D. Humason Sr. of Lake Jackson. ''He's fighting me. I'm down here struggling with six stores.''
Humason heads Dewey Corp., which owns the McDonald's restaurants in Brazoria County, south of Houston.
Cox, who owns six Red Top restaurants in Brazoria County and one in Houston, said the McDonald's ad campaign for their burger is almost identical to his Texas Style Burger.
In a petition, McDonald's denied using Cox's concept, saying its promotion relies on generic logos that don't belong to Cox.
Humason said Cox didn't have the marketing concept registered and does not hold sole rights to the three words in contention.
Cox said the McDonald's ads are so similar that confused customers have brought McDonald's coupons to Red Top.
But Humason said of 174,000 coupons distributed during the marketing drive, only three were mistakenly taken to Red Top restaurants.