McDonald's tries to patent rye bread burger

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HELSINKI--McDonald's Finland says it's not disappointed with a decision by Finland's Central Office of Registration to reject its patent application for the McRuis burger (McRye bread burger), which was officially launched in Finland last year.

"We are very pleased with the outcome. We were aware when we applied that there was very little chance of having our patent application accepted. I don't mind admitting that we mostly did it for the publicity, and we got buckets of that," says McDonald's Finland CEO Kim Hanslin.

Rejecting the application, the COR ruled McDonald's had no special claim on rye bread, the only ingredient in the McRuis which makes the product stand out from other food products. There are 120 varieties of rye bread in Finland and nobody has managed to patent any particular type.

Hanslin says there are no plans to launch McRuis outside Finland. "It is a niche product for a niche market. The McRuis has done more to highlight McDonald's in Finland, and we are very proud of it.'

Reacting to the runaway success of the McRuis, arch rival Hesburger has countered with Ruisfile. With 80 outlets in Finland, Hesburger is Finland's second biggest fast food chain.

Copyright May 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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