A new knockoff fast food chain is attempting to fill the void left after McDonald’s announced it was closing all of its 850 Russian stores due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Uncle Vanya’s logo looks like the McDonald’s “Golden Arches” logo except the yellow M is turned 90 degrees clockwise, forming the Cyrillic letter “B” which refers to the “V” in “Vanya,” according to the New York Post.
“Trademark squatting has begun in Russia,” tweeted Josh Green, a trademark attorney. “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.’”
The Uncle Vanya application began circulating online after Russian government officials implied they were planning to remove intellectual property protection for corporations from countries that had supported sanctions against Russia.
The Washington Post reported that Vyacheslav Volodin, an official in the State Duma, called for Russian restaurants to take over McDonald’s stores and turn them into Uncle Vanya’s.
“[McDonald’s] announced they are closing. Well, okay, close. But tomorrow in those locations we should have not McDonald’s, but Uncle Vanya’s,” Volodin said.
He added: “Jobs must be preserved and prices reduced.”
If Russia stopped enforcing patent protection, it would pave the way for McDonald’s franchises in the country to continue to operate independently without permission from McDonald’s.