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McDonald's Corporation v Joburgers Drive-Inn Restaurant (Pty) Ltd. and Another; McDonald's Corporation v Dax Prop CC and Another; McDonald's Corporation v Joburgers Drive-Inn Restaurant (Pty) Ltd. and Another (547/95) [1996] ZASCA 82; 1997 (1) SA 1 (SCA); [1996] 4 All SA 1 (A); (27 August 1996)

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In the matters between:
1.       MCDONALD'S CORPORATION   Appellant
LIMITED  First Respondent
2.       MCDONALD'S CORPORATION   Appellant

PAX PROP CC      First Respondent
3.       MCDONALD'S CORPORATION   Appellant
(PTY) LIMITED    First Respondent
PAX PROP CC      Second Respondent
HEARD: 20 May 1996 22 May 1996 DELIVERED: 27 August 1996

This is a dispute about the use and continued
registration of the appellant's trade marks. The appellant, to which I shall refer as McDonald's, is a corporation incorporated in the state of Delaware in the United States of America. It is one of the largest franchisers of fast food restaurants in the world, if not the largest. It first commenced business in the United States of America in 1955 and has carried on business internationally since 1971. It operates its own restaurants and also franchises others to do so. It sells hamburgers and other fast foods. The McDonald's trade mark is widely used in relation to restaurants owned by McDonald's as well as those that are franchised.
McDonald's obtained registration of its trade marks in South Africa in 1968, 1974, 1979, 1980, 1984 and 1985. It is now the registered proprietor of fifty-two marks. Of these, twenty-seven consist of or

3 incorporate the word McDonald or McDonald's. Also used
is the letter M in the form of so-called golden arches,
with or without the word McDonald's. Others consist of
the words Big Mac, Egg McMuffin and McMuffin. There are
also two clown devices. The trade marks are registered
in respect of goods, mainly in classes 29 and 30, and
for services in class 42.
When the present proceedings commenced, McDonald's
had not traded in South Africa nor, we may assume for
present purposes, had it used any of its trade marks
Joburgers Drive-Inn Restaurant (Pty) Limited
("Joburgers") is a South African company with its
principal place of business in Johannesburg. Its
managing director is Mr George Sombonos. Mr Sombonos
has been engaged in the fast food industry since 1968.
In 1979 he registered a company called Golden Fried
Chicken (Pty) Limited ("Chicken Licken"). He holds 90%

4 of the shares in the company and is its managing
director. In 1979 Chicken Licken applied for the
registration of a number of trade marks, including
Chicken Licken. Since then it has franchised the
Chicken Licken business so that to-day there are more
than 177 stores throughout South Africa. Mr Sombonos
says that Chicken Licken is the biggest fried chicken
fast food franchise chain in the world not having its
origins in the United States of America.
During 1992 Mr Sombonos on behalf of Joburgers
decided to establish fast food outlets and restaurants
using the trade marks McDonald's, Big Mac and the
golden arches design. In 1993 Mr Sombonos applied for
the registration of these and some other McDonald's
marks. At the same time he applied to the Registrar of
Trade Marks in terms of section 36(1) (a) and (b) of the
Trade Marks Act, no 62 of 1963 ("the old act") for the
expungement of the trade marks which are held by

5 McDonald's. McDonald's opposed these applications and
filed its counter-statements in the expungement
applications during August 1993. During the same period
McDonald's applied again for the registration of all
the trade marks in its name.
On 29 August 1993 there appeared an article in the
Sunday Times newspaper reading inter alia as follows:

"Big Macs may soon be eaten all over South Africa, but not because American hamburger giant McDonald's is entering the market. Nor will they be on sale before judgment in which could be SA's biggest trade mark battle.
Chicken Licken franchise owner George Sombonos plans to start his own national McDonald's hamburger chain. Sites have been chosen and an advertising campaign is being prepared.
Mr Sombonos's lawyer Shaun Ryan of Ryans Attorneys, says the first restaurant will open in Johannesburg 'as soon as physically possible'.
The chain will serve McMuffins and Big Mac burgers. Restaurants will also be decorated with a large M device similar to two joined arches."
In response to this article McDonald's wrote
through its attorneys to Joburgers's attorney inter

6 alia as follows:

"We are instructed that the intended use of McDonald's trademarks [which were listed in an annexure to the letter] constitutes an infringement of our client's trade mark rights. Your client has unequivocally expressed a clear intention to use such trade marks.
We have been instructed to demand as we hereby do that your client unequivocally undertake that it will not use our client's registered trade marks or any other marks which are deceptively or confusingly similar to our client's registered trade marks."
Failing an undertaking as demanded in this letter McDonald's threatened legal proceedings.
Joburgers's reply was uncompromising. It read,
inter alia,
"We are aware that your client is the Registrant for the trade marks listed in the Annexure to your letter. Your client is not the Proprietor of these trade marks. The true proprietor of the subject matter of these registrations is Joburgers Drive-Inn Restaurant (Pty) Limited. You may take it that it is our client's intention to both use and register its trade marks in the Republic of South Africa.... Your client is invited to take legal proceedings as threatened."
On 23 September 1993 McDonald's launched an urgent

7 application against Joburgers in the Transvaal
Provincial Division for relief on the grounds of
infringement of its trade marks, passing off and
unlawful competition. I shall refer to this application
as the Joburgers application. On 28 September 1993
Swart J granted an order by agreement, the relevant
part of which read as follows:

"The respondent undertakes pending the determination of this application and the proposed counter-application, not to infringe the applicant's registered trade marks .... which undertaking is made an order of court."
It came to Joburgers's notice that there was a fast
food outlet in Durban trading under the name (or names)
Asian Dawn and MacDonalds. MacDonalds, it is pointed
out in passing, is spelt differently from McDonald's.
On 15 October 1993 Mrs A T Bead, a director of
Joburgers, and Mr S F Ryan, Joburgers's attorney,
travelled to Durban from Johannesburg to buy the
outlet. It is not quite clear from the papers who

8 exactly owned the business but the interested parties
were a close corporation called Asian Dawn Investments
CC, its sole member Miss Sajee Bibi Farid Khan and her
brother, Mr Rafique Khan. According to an affidavit by
Mrs Pead she approached Mr Rafique Khan in the shop and
offered to buy it as a going concern. She said she
wanted it for her son to encourage him not to leave the
country.(In fact she was acting for Joburgers and
wanted to secure the trade mark for use in the present
proceedings.) Mr Khan was prepared to sell if the price
was right, but first wanted to speak to his sister as,
he said, they were joint owners. Later he informed Mrs
Pead that he had spoken to his sister and that they
were willing to sell the business as a going concern
for R250 000. The Joburgers contingent were not happy
with the price, but asked for an option to give them
time to think about it. The parties then executed and
signed a written option at a price of R250 000. Some

9 days later, after further negotiations, the parties
agreed telephonically on a price of R225 000. The
Khans' attorney was to draw up a written contract.
The contract was not forthcoming. Mrs Pead phoned
Mr Khan to find out what was happening. He told her
that he had been approached by attorneys acting for
McDonald's and that the price he had agreed with Mrs
Pead was made to look "not only like peanuts but dried
peanuts". He now wanted offers that were "telephone
figures". No amount of persuasion could change his
attitude, and Joburgers brought an urgent application
to restrain Mr and Miss Khan and her close corporation
from selling, alienating or otherwise disposing of the
business. An order to this effect was granted.
Ultimately, on 22 November 1993, the parties entered
into a new contract of sale at a price of R350 000.
In the meantime the proceedings between McDonald's
and Joburgers were continuing. On 15 November 1993

10 Joburgers served answering affidavits and a counter-application. The main relief sought in the counter-application was the expungement of the McDonald's trade marks in terms of section 36(1)(a) and (b) of the old act, i e, on the grounds, broadly stated, that the marks were registered without any bona fide intention on the part of McDonald's that they should be used and that they had in fact not been used for the periods required by the section.
Early in 1994 McDonald's became aware that Joburgers was conducting the business in Durban under the name MacDonalds. McDonald's immediately launched proceedings for relief on the grounds that Joburgers was in contempt of court - it was contravening the order granted by consent on 28 September 1993 in terms of which Joburgers undertook (and was ordered) not to infringe the registered McDonald's trade marks. The matter came before Nugent J. On 15 March 1994 he

declared that Joburgers was in contempt of the earlier order and that all proceedings in respect of its counter-application to expunge the McDonald's trade marks be stayed until it had purged its contempt.
On the very next day Joburgers' s attorney wrote to the attorneys for McDonald's to say that Joburgers had disposed of the business. Requests by McDonald's for further information about the disposal proved fruitless.
In May 1994 it came to the notice of McDonald's that the MacDonald's business in Durban was being conducted by Dax Prop CC ("Dax"). The sole member of Dax is Mr George Charalambous. He has worked as a baker and hotelier. In 1988 he gave up his employment to commence his own business as a franchisee of Chicken Licken. He is now the sole director and shareholder of a company which has six Chicken Licken franchises and a member of a close corporation which also has several

franchises. These are all in KwaZulu Natal. Mr
Charalambous is responsible for the management of all these businesses.
On 17 May 1994 McDonald's wrote through its attorneys to Dax asking, inter alia, for an undertaking that Dax cease forthwith to use the trade mark MacDonalds or any other trade mark which is deceptively or confusingly similar to McDonald's, failing which proceedings would be instituted.
No such undertaking was given.
On 25 May 1994 Dax applied to register the mark MacDonald's in classes 29, 30, and 42. On 9 August 1994 Dax launched an application, also in the Transvaal Provincial Division, against McDonald's seeking expungement from the register of the trade marks relied upon by McDonald's in its letter of 17 May 1994. Dax also sought some additional relief which need not be set out. McDonald's brought a counter-application for

13 an interdict preventing Dax from infringing its trade
At this stage the position then was that, in the Joburgers application, McDonald's applied against Joburgers for an interdict to restrain trade mark infringement and Joburgers sought, in a counter-application, expungement of the marks, whereas in the Dax application, Dax asked for expungement and McDonald's, in the counter-application, asked for an interdict.
On 1 May 1995 the Trade Marks Act, no 194 of 1993 ("the new act") came into force. Section 35 of the new act provides for the protection of "well-known" trade marks emanating from certain foreign countries. On 20 June 1995 McDonald's brought an application against Joburgers and Dax under sec 35 of the new act. It claimed that all 52 of its trade marks are well-known marks in terms of the section, and sought an order that

14 Joburgers and Dax be interdicted and restrained from
imitating, reproducing or transmitting those marks in
the Republic of South Africa. I shall call this the
"well-known marks application".
Sec 71 of the new act repealed the old act. However, sec 3(2) of the new act provides that all applications and proceedings commenced under the repealed act shall be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of that act as if it had not been repealed. The Joburgers and Dax applications must therefore be dealt with in accordance with the old act. The well-known marks application, on the other hand, must be decided according to the new act.
The three applications were heard together by Southwood J. He found in favour of Joburgers and Dax. Accordingly, in the Joburgers application, the application by McDonald's for an interdict was dismissed and Joburgers's counter-application for

15 expungement granted; in the Dax application, Dax's
application for expungement was granted and the
counter-application by McDonald's for an interdict
refused; and the well-known marks application by
McDonald's was refused. In all cases appropriate costs
orders were made.
With the leave of the court a quo McDonald's now appeals against these orders.
At the outset I should deal with an application by McDonald's to adduce further evidence. This application related to two matters which arose after the decision of the court a quo. The first was that both McDonald's and Dax were trading under the name McDonald's or MacDonalds, and were using similar or identical trade marks. This led to litigation between them in which an order was given by consent. The second was that Joburgers had assigned to Dax all its rights in and to the McDonald's trade marks in respect of which

Joburgers had originally applied for registration. The
application to adduce further evidence was opposed, and in any event Joburgers and Dax tendered evidence to explain the new facts relied upon by McDonald's.
The general principle is that, in deciding an
appeal, this Court determines whether the judgment appealed from is right or wrong according to the facts in existence at the time it was given and not according to new circumstances which came into existence afterwards. In principle, therefore, evidence of events subsequent to the judgment under appeal should not be admitted in order to decide the appeal, although there may possibly be exceptions to this rule (see Weber-Stephen Products Co v Alrite Engineering (Pty) Ltd and Others [1992] ZASCA 2; 1992 (2) SA 489 (A) at 507C-E and earlier authorities there quoted). Even assuming that an exception may be possible, I consider that no adequate reason was given why such an exception should be made

17 in respect of the evidence relating to the recent
business activities of Dax and McDonald's and the
resultant litigation between them. Concerning
Joburgers's assignment of its rights in or to the
McDonald's trade marks, it was contended that the
evidence was relevant for the purposes of sec 21A of
the Supreme Court Act, 59 of 1959. This section
empowers a court of appeal to strike an appeal off the
roll if it is of the opinion that, in the
circumstances, a judgment in favour of the appellant
will have no practical effect or result. This argument
is misconceived. The new evidence does not suggest
that a judgment in favour of McDonald's would have no
practical effect or result, and the last thing that
McDonalds would want is that the appeal be struck off
the roll. At most the evidence tends to show that one
of the respondents no longer has an interest in the
appeal. Sec. 21A of the Supreme Court Act provides no

18 remedy for such a situation. Moreover the new evidence
is controverted by further evidence tendered by
Joburgers and Dax, The evidence relating to the
assignment should accordingly also be refused. It
follows that the application to adduce further evidence
should be dismissed with costs.
I turn now to the arguments on the merits. For
convenience I start with the well-known marks
application. Sec 35 of the new act reads as follows:

"(1) References in this Act to a trade mark which is entitled to protection under the Paris Convention as a well-known trade mark, are to a mark which is well known in the Republic as being the mark of -
(a)      a person who is a national of a
convention country; or

(b)      a person who is domiciled in, or has a
real and effective industrial or commercial
establishment in, a convention country,

whether or not such person carries on business, or has any goodwill, in the Republic.
(2)      A reference in this Act to the proprietor of
such a mark shall be construed accordingly.

(3)      The proprietor of a trade mark which is
entitled to protection under the Paris Convention
as a well-known trade mark is entitled to restrain
the use in the Republic of a trade mark which

constitutes, or the essential part of which constitutes, a reproduction, imitation or translation of the well-known trade mark in relation to goods or services which are identical or similar to the goods or services in respect of which the trade mark is well known and where the use is likely to cause deception or confusion."
There was a large area of agreement between the
parties about the meaning and application of this
section. Thus it was common cause that McDonald's in
fact is a person such as is described in paragraphs (a)
and (b) of sub-section (1). The parties were also
agreed on what it is that has to be "well known" in the
Republic. In this regard the court a quo had said:
"... it is not sufficient that the mark simply be well-known in the Republic. It must be established that the mark is well-known as the mark of a person who is (a) a national of, or (b) is domiciled in, or (c) has a real and effective industrial or commercial establishment in, a convention country: must also be well-known that there is a connection between the mark and some person falling in categories (a), (b) or (c)."
This seems to suggest that the section only
applies if what is well known is not only the mark

itself but also the nationality, domicile or place of
business of the mark's owner, and moreover the fact that the relevant country is a convention country. Before us counsel were ad idem that such an interpretation could not be supported. If it were correct the section would be a dead letter. It is difficult to imagine any mark, however well known, in respect of which such further facts would be common knowledge. The parties accordingly accepted (I think correctly) that it would be enough for a plaintiff to prove that the mark is well known as a mark which has its origin in some foreign country, provided that as a fact the proprietor of the mark is a person falling within sub-section (l)(a) or (b).
The essential dispute between the parties was what level of awareness in the public mind is required for a mark to qualify as "well-known"in terms of section 35. In this regard it is useful to look at the

background to the section.
The Paris Convention, to which reference is made
in sec 35, is the Paris Convention on the Protection of
Industrial Property of 20 March 1883 as revised or
amended from time to time (sec 2 of the Act). For
present purposes art 6bis(l) of the Convention is
apposite. Its relevant portion reads as follows:
"The countries of the Union undertake, ex officio
if their legislation so permits, or at the request
of an interested party, to refuse or to cancel the
registration, and to prohibit the use, of a trade
mark which constitutes a reproduction, an
imitation, or a translation, liable to create
confusion, of a mark considered by the competent
authority of the country of registration or use to      
be well-known in that country as being already the
mark of a person entitled to the benefits of this
Convention and used for identical or similar
Although art 6bis was inserted into the convention as
far back as 1925, neither Britain nor South Africa gave
legislative effect to it until recently - South Africa
in sec 35 of the new act, and Britain in sec 56 of the
Trade Marks Act, 1994 (42 & 43 Elizabeth 2 C. 26). The

two sections are very similar. Section 35(1) and (2) of
the new act, in particular, is, for practical purposes,
identical to sec 56(1) of the British Act, save for the
substitution of "the Republic" for "the United Kingdom"
wherever it appears. The reason why Britain did not
legislate earlier was that previously it claimed to be
honouring the article by means of its common law of
passing off. See Richard C Abnett, AIPPI: Famous Trade
Marks Require A New Legal Weapon, Trademark World,
Dec 1990/Jan 1991, p 23.
The protection granted to foreign marks by the law
of passing off was limited, however, by the requirement
that a plaintiff had to establish a goodwill in the
country. In a well known passage from The Commissioners
of Inland Revenue v Muller & Co's Margarine Ltd [1901]
AC 217
(HL) at 223-4 Lord Macnaghten defined goodwill
as follows:
"It is a thing very easy to describe, very difficult to define. It is the benefit and

advantage of the good name, reputation, and connection of a business. It is the attractive force which brings in custom. It is the one thing which distinguishes an old-established business from a new business at its first start. The goodwill of a business must emanate from a particular centre or source. However widely extended or diffused its influence may be, goodwill is worth nothing unless it has power of attraction sufficient to bring customers home to the source from which it emanates . . . For my part, I think that if there is one attribute common to all cases of goodwill it is the attribute of locality. For goodwill has no independent existence. It cannot subsist by itself. It must be attached to a business. Destroy the business, and the goodwill perishes with it, though elements remain which may perhaps be gathered up and be revived again." (Emphasis added)
The "attribute of locality" mentioned in this passage
led to a result described as follows in Kerly's Law of
Trade Marks and Trade Names, 12th ed (1986) p 358 para
"... since an essential ingredient of passing-off is damage ... to goodwill, he [i e, the plaintiff in an action founded on passing-off in the United Kingdom] must show that he had ... in this country not merely a reputation but also a goodwill capable of being damaged. Goodwill, however, is local: it is situated where the business is. Thus a foreign plaintiff may have a reputation in this

country - from travellers on the one hand, or periodicals of international circulation, for instance, on the other - yet still fail in an action for passing-off because he has here no business and so no goodwill. Such cases have been not uncommon in recent years, and have caused considerable difficulty."
Examples of such cases are Alain Bernardin et Compagnie
v Pavilion Properties Ltd [1967] RFC 581 (the "Crazy
Horse" case). The Athletes Foot Marketing Associates
Inc v Cobra Sports Ltd and Another [1980] RPC 343 (Ch)
and Anheuser-Busch Inc v Budejovicky Budvar HP (trading
as Budweiser Budvar Brewery) and Others [1984] FSR 413
In the Alain Bernardin case the plaintiff was the
proprietor and operator of a bar and cabaret in Paris
known as the "Crazy Horse Saloon". The bar had been
continuously and extensively publicised in the United
Kingdom for sixteen years. The defendant commenced a
place of entertainment in London under the name of
"Crazy Horse Saloon" and issued an advertisement

stating "Crazy Horse Saloon comes to London". The
plaintiff applied for an interlocutory injunction
against the defendant on the grounds of passing off.
The application was refused. The court referred inter
alia to the Muller case (supra) and stated (at 584
lines 30-47)
"... that a trader cannot acquire goodwill in this country without some sort of user in this country. ... I do not think that the mere sending into this country by a foreign trader of advertisements advertising his establishment abroad could fairly be treated as user in this country. ... If that were so, the range of the action of passing off would be extended far beyond anything which has hitherto been treated as its proper scope. That observation applies I think particularly to such establishments as hotels and even more to restaurants. It may well be that the owner of a foreign hotel or restaurant acquires in this country a reputation for the name of his hotel or restaurant in a wide sense, that the travel agents or other persons to whom he sends advertisements know of his establishment. Again he may acquire a reputation in a wide sense in the sense of returning travellers speaking highly of that establishment, but it seems to me that those matters, although they may represent reputation in some wide sense, fall far short of user in this country and are not sufficient to establish reputation in the sense material for the purpose

of a passing off action. It is very clear that in such circumstances the foreign trader has not acquired anything which in law could be described as goodwill in this country."
In the Athletes Foot case the plaintiffs carried
on in the United states of America and elsewhere, but
not in Great Britain, an extensive business in which
they granted franchises to independent stores to sell
footwear for athletes under the name "The Athlete's
Foot". During 1978 and 1979 they had taken steps to
secure a franchise agreement for the United Kingdom and
a prospective franchisee had gone so far as to order
goods and stationery with a view to establishing a
chain of stores under the name "The Athlete's Foot".
However, no franchise contract had been concluded and
no sales had in fact been made under that name. There
was nevertheless an awareness of the plaintiffs' trade
name and trading activities in a substantial section of
the public in England as a result of over-spill
publicity through American journals circulating there.

27 An application for injunctive relief against a trader
who sought to use the name in England was refused.
After a full review of the earlier cases, the court
(Walton J) held as follows at 350, lines 13-20:

"... as a matter of principle, no trader can complain of passing off against him in any territory ... in which he has no customers, nobody who is in a trade relation with him. This will normally shortly be expressed by saying that he does not carry on any trade in that particular country . . . but the inwardness of it will be that he has no customers in that country: no people who buy his goods or make use of his services (as the case may be) there."
In the Anheuser-Busch case the plaintiffs and their
predecessors were brewers of beer in the United States
of America. Their beer had been sold since 1875 under
the "Budweiser" trade mark. The first defendants were
from 1895 brewers of beer in Ceske Budejovice, a town
in Czechoslovakia formerly known by its German name of
Budweis. In sales in Europe the first defendants used
the word "Budweiser" in relation to their beer.
Before 1973, when the first defendants first sold

a significant quantity of beer in the United Kingdom,
the plaintiffs exported no beer to the United Kingdom for normal commercial sale and domestic consumption. Between 1974 and 1979, when action was taken against the first defendants, the plaintiffs' sales in the United Kingdom were minimal, failing to exceed 240 000 cans a year, the principal outlets for which were American-style restaurants and clubs. However, from the years 1962 to 1973, an annual average of more that 5 million cans of their beer were imported for use and sale in United States military and diplomatic establishments in England. These cans were available for purchase, duty free, by serving Americans and by British employees of American service establishments, but were not available for general purchase.
In 1973 the first defendants actively entered the United Kingdom market, and by 1980 their sales amounted to some 300 000 bottles per annum.

In 1979 the plaintiffs issued a writ by which they
sought, inter alia, by injunction to prevent the first
defendants from selling or dealing in any beer by the
name of "Budweiser" except for the plaintiffs' own
beer. By counterclaim the defendants sought by
injunction to prevent the plaintiffs from selling or
dealing in any "Budweiser" beer unless it was brewed by
the first defendants or otherwise originated from the
town of Budweis. Whitford J in the Chancery Division
refused both the claim and the counterclaim. He held
that neither brewery could be disentitled to use the
word "Budweiser" since neither was employing it
improperly and neither was making a misrepresentation,
notwithstanding the fact that some degree of public
confusion was apparent. The plaintiffs appealed.
On appeal it was accepted that the plaintiffs' Budweiser beer enjoyed a significant reputation among members of the public in the United Kingdom as a result

30 of visits to the United states and spill-over
advertising. Such reputation was, however, not enough.
What was required was a goodwill in the United Kingdom,
which could not exist without a business there. This
was expressed by Oliver L J as follows (p 470):
"Mr Kentridge argues that once a goodwill exists it is for the owner of the goodwill to choose when and how he will go into the market with his product. But this, with respect, begs the question, because it assumes the existence of the goodwill apart from the market, and that, as it seems to me, is to confuse goodwill, which cannot exist in a vacuum, with mere reputation which may, no doubt, and frequently does, exist without any supporting local business, but which does not by itself constitute a property which the law protects."
And O'Connor L J said (at p 471)
"As a result of the plaintiffs' enormous business in the U.S.A. expanded by ever increasing advertising, I am in no doubt that the evidence showed that ... the plaintiffs' Budweiser beer enjoyed a significant reputation among members of the public in this country. That is not sufficient to found an action for passing off. It is the goodwill of a business carried on in this country that can be protected, not the reputation -goodwill if you like - of a business carried on in another country."

On the facts the Court of Appeal held that the
activities of the plaintiffs in the United Kingdom did not amount to the carrying on of a business there.
Also in South Africa it has been held that a goodwill existing within the country is necessary to found a claim in respect of passing off. See, for instance, Slenderella Systems Inc of America v Hawkins and Another 1959 (1) SA 519 (W) at 521A to 522B, Lorimar Productions Inc and Others v Sterling Clothing Manufacturers (Pty) Ltd 1981 (3) SA 1129 (T) at 1138H to 1140A and Tie Rack plc v Tie Rack Stores (Pty) Ltd and Another 1989 (4) SA 427 (T) at 442G to 445D. In the last mentioned case the applicant conducted in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, but not in South Africa, either by itself or through franchisees, a number of shops under the name "Tie Rack". It sought to interdict the respondents from doing likewise in this country. This attempt failed. The basic reason was stated by

Kriegler J as follows (at 445C-D:
"The simple truth is that the applicant has no goodwill, no attractive force in this country. The fact that people in this country - and accepting that there may be many - know of applicant's business abroad and may be misled into believing first respondent's shops are in some way associated therewith, does not afford applicant a proprietary right in this country. Put differently, applicant has no business of any kind in South Africa and nothing first respondent has done can or is likely to do any harm to applicant in the patrimonial sense in this country."
For present purposes it is not necessary to
determine whether these cases were correctly decided
either in the United Kingdom or in South Africa. In
Australia, for instance, the Federal Court went the
other way. See Conagra Inc v McCain Foods (Aust) Pty
Ltd [1992] FCA 159; 23 IPR 193. However, whether the above cases were
right or wrong, they demonstrate that the courts in
this country and the United Kingdom have in fact not
protected the owners of foreign trade marks who did not
have a goodwill within the country. To that extent the
common law of passing off has not been sufficient to

33 constitute compliance with art 6bis of the Paris
It seems clear that sec 35 of the new act and the
corresponding provision in the United Kingdom were
intended to remedy this lack. Thus sec 35(1)
pertinently extends protection to the owner of a
foreign mark "whether or not such person carries on
business, or has any goodwill, in the Republic". And
the type of protection which is granted by sub-sec (3)
is typical of that which is available under the common
law of passing off: a prohibition on the use of the
mark in relation to goods or services in respect of
which the mark is well known and where the use is
likely to cause deception or confusion.
It is against this background that the expressions
"well-known trade mark" and "well known in the
Republic" must be interpreted. Counsel for McDonald's
contended that the legislature intended to impose no

34 more than the ordinary requirement for passing off
actions, namely that the reputation must extend to a
substantial number of members of the public or persons
in the trade in question. See Webster and Page, South
African Law of Trade Marks, 3 ed, 417; Kerly's Law of
Trade Marks and Trade Names, supra, para 16-10; John
Craig (Pty) Ltd v Dupa Clothing Industries (Pty) Ltd
1977 (3) SA 144 (T) at 150 in fin and the Conagra case,
supra, at 237 lines 14 to 37.
Of course, the mere fact that the legislature
intended to provide some protection for a foreign
trader who does not have a goodwill or a business
inside the country does not necessarily mean that such
protection must be coterminous with that afforded to
local businessmen. It is accordingly conceivable that,
in order to receive protection, the foreigner might
have to prove a greater public awareness of his mark
than is required of a local businessman claiming a

remedy against passing off. And, indeed, the
respondents argued that the legislature in giving protection only to well-known marks, did impose a higher standard. On the ordinary meaning of language, so the argument went, a mark is well known in the Republic only when known to a large part of the population as a whole.
This argument raises two questions, namely
must the mark be well-known to all sectors of the population; and
whatever the relevant sector of the population may be, what degree of awareness within that sector is required before a mark can properly be described as well-known.
The answer to question (a) is, I think, clear. Section 35 of the new act was intended to provide a practical solution to the problems of foreign businessmen whose marks were known in South Africa but

36 who did not have a business here. The South African
population is a diverse one in many respects. There are
wide differences in income, education, cultural values,
interests, tastes, personal life styles, recreational
activities, etc. This was obviously known to the
legislature when it passed the new act. If protection
is granted only to marks which are known (not to say
well-known) to every segment of the population (or even
to most segments of the population) there must be very
few marks, if any, which could pass the test. The
legislation would therefore not achieve its desired
purpose. Moreover, there would not appear to be any
point in imposing such a rigorous requirement. In
argument we were referred as an example to a mark which
might be very well known to all persons interested in
golf. Why should it be relevant, when deciding whether
or not to protect such a mark, that non-golfers might
never have heard of it? I consider therefore that a

37 mark is well-known in the Republic if it is well-known
to persons interested in the goods or services to which
the mark relates.
The next question then is: how well should it be
known to such persons? (question (b) above). On behalf
of McDonald' s it was argued that the test in this
regard is a qualitative and not a quantitative one. The
question is not, it was argued, how many of the
relevant persons know the mark, but how profound the
knowledge of the mark is among those who do know it. In
my view this argument is untenable. I suppose that
knowledge of a mark could be so vague or superficial as
hardly to count as knowledge at all, but apart from
that I would not have thought that there would normally
be great differences in the degree of knowledge of the
mark by members of the public, or that such
differences, if they existed, would be of any
relevance. In the present context the important

38 practical question is not whether a few people know the

mark well but rather whether sufficient persons know it well enough to entitle it to protection against deception or confusion.
How many people are sufficient? The only guideline provided by the legislature lies in the expression "well-known". This is in itself so vague as hardly to provide any assistance at all. It is certainly capable of bearing the meaning urged upon us by counsel for McDonald's, namely a substantial number as used in the law of passing off generally. In this regard the judge a quo commented that if it was the object of the sub-section to require knowledge only of a substantial number of persons, " it is strange that this was not simply stated to be the requirement instead of merely adopting the terminology of section (sic) 6bis (1) of the Paris Convention". With respect, I do not agree. The purpose of the legislature clearly was to give

39 legislative force to article 6bis of the Paris
Convention. To this end it was natural to repeat the
language of the Convention, leaving it to the courts to
give practical effect to the vague expressions used.
On behalf of the respondents it was contended that a greater extent of public knowledge is required. The difficulty here is one of definition and practical application. If a substantial number is not sufficient, what is? To require one hundred percent would clearly be excessive, but how much less would suffice? Seventy-five percent, fifty percent? What logical basis is there for laying down any such requirement? And how does one prove any such arbitrary percentage?
It seems to me that McDonald's's contention must be sustained. The legislature intended to extend the protection of a passing off action to foreign businessmen who did not have a business or enjoy a goodwill inside the country provided their marks were

40 well-known in the Republic. It seems logical to accept
that the degree of knowledge of the marks that is
required would be similar to that protected in the
existing law of passing off. The concept of a
substantial number of persons is well established. It
provides a practical and flexible criterion which is
consistent with the terms of the statute. No feasible
alternative has been suggested.
In coming to a different conclusion the court a
quo relied heavily on the Canadian case of Robert C
Wian Enterprises, Inc v Mady (1965) 49 D L R (2d) 65.
Sec 16 of the Canadian Trade Marks Act provided inter
"Any applicant ... for registration of a trade mark that is registrable and that he or his predecessor in title has used in Canada or made known in Canada in association with wares or services is entitled .... to secure its registration in respect of such wares and services, unless at the date on which he or his predecessor in title first so used it or made it known it was confusing with
(a) a trade mark that had been previously

used in Canada or made known in Canada by any other person;"
The expression "made known in Canada" was defined in
sec 5, which, in so far as relevant, read as follows:
"A trade mark is deemed to be made known in Canada by a person only if it is used by such person in a country of the Union, other than Canada, in association with wares or services, and
(b) such wares or services are advertised in association with it in
(i) any printed publication circulated in Canada in the ordinary course of commerce among potential dealers in or users of such wares or services, or (ii) radio broadcasts, as defined in the Radio Act ..., ordinarily received in Canada by potential dealers in or users of such wares or services,
and it has become well known in Canada by reason
of such ... advertising."
The court had to decide inter alia whether the plaintiff's trade mark had become "well known in Canada" by reason of radio advertising. For the purpose of establishing this, the plaintiff tendered affidavits of 54 persons residing in Windsor, Ontario. The court analysed these affidavits and found them to be of

insufficient weight. It therefore held (at p 81) that
the plaintiff had failed to establish that its trade
marks were "well known in Canada" by reason of radio
Despite having decided the matter in issue, the
court proceeded to state the following in a passage (at
p 81) relied upon by the court a quo:
"Furthermore, I think I should say that there was really no attempt, in my view, to show that the plaintiff's trade marks were 'well known in Canada'. All that was attempted was to show that they were well known in Windsor, Ontario and surrounding territory. It was argued that, if they were well known in any part of Canada, they were 'well known in Canada' within s. 5 of the Trade Marks Act. I cannot accept this view. A thing
may be regarded as known in Canada if it is known only in some part of Canada but, in my view, it is not 'well known' in Canada unless knowledge of it pervades the country to a substantial extent.... I do not think a trade mark can be regarded as 'well known in Canada' when knowledge of it is restricted to a local area in Canada. In my view it must be 'well known' across Canada 'among potential dealers in or users of the wares or services with which it is associated."
It should be noted that the court in the Wian case

43 was faced with different problems from those arising in
our case. In the Canadian legislation there was no
uncertainty about the class of persons to whom the
trade mark had to be well known. Section 5(b) (ii) of
the Act in effect defined the class as being "potential
dealers in or users of such wares and services" (i e,
the wares or services in association with which the
trade mark was used by the plaintiff). The further
question, i e, when a mark must be regarded as well
known to such a class, also did not arise in the Wian
case. The only matter dealt with in the above passage
was the geographical area within which the mark had to
be well known. This is not a question which arises in
the present case. Moreover, the court's views in this
regard were based on the Canadian legislation which
differs from ours. In all these circumstances I do not
find the Wian case of any assistance. I may note in
passing that the reasoning in the above passage has in

44 any event not been accepted unreservedly in Canada. See
Valle's Steak House v Tessier et al. (1974) 49 CPR (2d)
at 226.
I turn now to the evidence concerning the extent
to which the McDonald's trade marks are known in the
Republic. As I have stated earlier, McDonald's is one
of the largest, if not the largest, franchiser of fast
food restaurants in the world. At the end of 1993 there
were 13 993 McDonald's restaurants spread over 70
countries. The annual turnover of McDonald's
restaurants amounts to some $23 587 million. McDonald's
trade marks are used extensively in relation to its own
restaurants as well as to those that are franchised.
The level of advertising and promotion which has been
carried out by McDonald's, its subsidiaries, affiliates
and franchisees in relation to McDonald's restaurants
exceeds the sum of $900 million annually. Their
international marketing campaigns have included

45 sponsorship of the 1984 Los Angeles and 1992 Barcelona
Olympics. McDonald's has also been a sponsor of the
1990 soccer World Cup Tournament in Italy and the 1994
World Cup Soccer Tournament in the United States of
America. Mr Paul R Duncan, the vice president and
general counsel of McDonald's, stated on affidavit
that, in view of the vast scale of his organisation's
operations, the McDonald's trade marks are in all
probability some of the best known trade marks in the
world. This was not denied. Although there was no
evidence on the extent to which the advertising outside
South Africa spilled over into this country through
printed publications and television, it must, in all
probability, be quite extensive. In addition the
McDonald's trade marks would be known to many South
Africans who have travelled abroad. This again would
not be an insignificant number.
Spontaneous acts by South Africans have confirmed

46 that there is a general level of knowledge in this
country about the operations of McDonald's. Thus
McDonald's disclosed that, between 1975 and 1993 it
received 242 requests from South Africans to conclude
franchising agreements. Some of these applicants were
prominent companies. For reasons which are not relevant
at present, none of these applications were acceded to.
The conduct of Joburgers and Dax in the present
case confirms the reputation attaching to the
McDonald's marks. Intrinsically the word McDonald has
no attractive force. It is a fairly common surname. Had
it not been for the reputation it has acquired over the
years nobody would wish to appropriate it. It is
therefore significant that Joburgers and Dax have gone
to considerable trouble and expense to obtain control
over the McDonald's marks. Joburgers announced its
intention of operating under the name McDonald's in a
provocative manner through an article in the Sunday

Times which was bound to stimulate legal action against
it. It may be noted in passing that the article in the
Sunday Times, which is quoted above, itself clearly
presupposes that its readers would be aware of
McDonald's, its business, products and marks.
After an interdict was obtained against Joburgers,
it purchased the business of MacDonalds in Durban. I
have already referred to the litigation between
Joburgers and the Khans arising out of that purchase.
In her affidavit in those proceedings Mrs Pead, who, it
will be recalled, is a director of Joburgers, made it
quite clear what the purpose of the transaction was.
She said:
"[Joburgers] wishes to secure the goodwill built up through the eighteen years use of the MacDonalds trade mark for itself. should [Joburgers] not be able to do so its position in regard to the proceedings with McDonalds Corporation ... will be severely prejudiced."
When the court held that Joburgers was in breach of the
interdict by conducting the MacDonalds business in

Durban, the business was sold to Dax, a business
associate of Joburgers. Both Joburgers and Dax have applied for the registration of McDonald's marks or similar ones, and have applied for the expungement of these marks in the name of McDonald's.
Quite obviously Joburgers and Dax both consider that the McDonald's mark is a valuable asset, worth a great deal of trouble, expense and risk to secure. They have not given any explanation for this attitude. If one assumes that they intend to trade under the name McDonald's or MacDonalds, there is only one possible explanation, namely that in their view the McDonald's marks enjoy a high reputation in this country.
An affidavit was filed by Mr M J Collins. He is the managing director of a company which inter alia advises franchisers and franchisees on all aspects of franchising. He served as Vice Chairman, and later as Chairman, of the South African Franchising Association

49 from 1983 to 1992. He has addressed numerous meetings,
conferences and seminars on various aspects of
franchising. During such addresses he has on numerous
occasions held up the business format adopted by
McDonald's as the model for efficient franchising.
During seminars he was questioned about McDonald's and
its business system. Moreover, since becoming Vice
Chairman of the South African Franchise Association, he
says, he has received "numerous requests, too numerous
even to have counted" from prospective franchisees and
ordinary members of the public for advice as to how to
become a McDonald's franchisee. He also notes that the
South African press regards McDonald's as newsworthy.
Thus coverage was for instance given when McDonald's
opened its first outlets in Russia and continental
China. Objection was taken to the admissibility of Mr
Collins's affidavit, but at least the items of evidence
mentioned above must be admissible. I discuss their

50 weight later.

Finally there was evidence about two market surveys. A great deal of argument was addressed to us about the admissibility and weight of such evidence. Before going into such matters it is necessary first to set out the nature and content of the evidence.
Mr C K Corder is the Chairman and Managing Director of Market Research Africa (Pty) Ltd. It is not disputed that he is an expert on market researching. In his affidavit he sets out first the theoretical principles involved. The basic theory of market research is that from a given representative sample of the consumer public it is possible to project, by means of acceptable mathematical methods, results of such sampling to a general population or "universe" within certain statistical limits. In other words, the researcher first determines the class of persons (or universe) which is sought to be tested, and then

51 questions individuals from that universe. The
confidence that one has in a projection from the
samples to the universe varies according to the number
of persons interviewed in the survey, the sampling
technique used and the level of response. Statisticians
commonly use the term "inference" to denote the process
of generalising sample evidence to the universe from
which the sample is selected. The basis of inferential
statistics is probability theory. A theorem in
probability theory, namely the Central Limit Theorem,
which applies in this case, states that if a large
number of independent samples are drawn from a
universe, the individual results will be different, but
that they will have a "normal" distribution around the
real value being measured in the universe. Based on
this theorem, and standard and accepted statistical
tables in relation to normal distribution, one can
calculate the probability of the real value in the

universe being within a specific interval or variation,
which Mr Corder referred to as the confidence level.
During September 1993 Mr Corder was instructed to conduct a market survey on behalf of McDonald's. He was informed that the objectives of the study were to establish awareness of the name McDonald's, to measure recognition of the McDonald's trade marks, to ascertain the association of McDonald's with certain products or types of business undertakings, and to establish the awareness of McDonald's hamburgers. The method used by him was the conducting of personal interviews using a structured questionnaire and interviewing aids. The interviewing aids consisted of two text show cards and one colour picture show card featuring the main McDonald's trade marks. Copies of the questionnaires and show cards were before the court.
The universe for the survey was defined as white adult males and females, aged 16 years and over, living

in houses in higher income suburbs of Pretoria,
Verwoerdburg, Johannesburg, Bedfordview, Randburg and
Sandton. A sample of 202 persons was taken. Mr Corder
gave details about the manner in which the sample was
selected. I need not repeat them - there is no
suggestion that the sampling was not scientifically
correct. The fieldwork was conducted from 7 December to
24 December 1993 by trained interviewers under the
supervision of field supervisors. Twenty-one percent of
the interviews were back checked in order to ensure
reliability. Affidavits of supervisors and interviewers
were filed to confirm their actions. Mr Corder, who was
in overall control, also confirmed that the survey was
properly conducted.
The relevant conclusions were set out as follows:
"A large majority of respondents were aware of the name McDonald's, and/or the McDonald's logos/trademarks (77%). More than half had heard of both McDonald's, and knew the logos/trademarks too (57%).

Most respondents spontaneously associated McDonald's with hamburgers, or knew of 'McDonald's Hamburgers' (80%).
The results indicate that the majority of white adults, aged 16 and over, living in households in higher income suburbs of Johannesburg and Pretoria are aware of the McDonald's brand name, and associate McDonald's with hamburgers".
During January and February 1995 a similar survey
was conducted among white males and females, aged 16
years and over, living in selected higher income
suburbs of Durban. The conclusions were stated as
"A large majority of respondents were aware of the name McDonald's, and/or the McDonald's logos/trade marks (90%). More than half had heard of both McDonald's, and also knew the logos/trade marks (52%).
Most respondents spontaneously associated McDonald's with hamburgers, or knew of McDonald's Hamburgers (87%).
The results indicate that the majority of white adults, aged 16 and over, living in the higher

income Durban suburbs of Broadway, Essenwood, Morningside and Musgrave are aware of the McDonald's brand name, and associate McDonald's with hamburgers."
This survey evidence raises two questions, viz, whether it is admissible, and what weight should be attached to it. To a certain extent these questions are interrelated, as will be seen.
I deal first with admissibility. The basis upon which the admissibility of market survey evidence has been questioned in the past is that it is of a hearsay nature. See Hoechst Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd v The Beauty Box (Pty) Ltd (In Liquidation) and Another 1987 (2) SA 600 (A) at 6161 to 617D, and authorities there quoted, particularly Die Bergkelder v Delheim Wines (Pty) Ltd 1980 (3) SA 1171 (C) at 1180A to 1182E. See also A Paizes, Public-Opinion Polls and the Borders of Hearsay (1983) 100 SALJ 71.
The matter of hearsay evidence is now governed by statute. Sec 3 of the Law of Evidence Amendment Act 45

56 of 1988 provides that hearsay evidence is inadmissible,
subject to certain exceptions. Sec 3 (4) defines
"hearsay evidence" as
"evidence, whether oral or in writing, the probative value of which depends upon the credibility of any person other than the person giving such evidence."
In the present case, evidence was given by Mr
Corder as well as by the supervisors and interviewers.
The only people involved in the survey who did not
testify were the interviewees. The question then is:
does the probative value of the evidence depend on the
credibility of the interviewees? On behalf of
McDonald's it was contended that it did not. The
evidence should be admitted, it was argued, because it
is opinion evidence of a scientific nature, or,
alternatively, that it relates to a state of mind. In
support of the latter proposition reliance was placed
on Hollywood Curl (Pty) Ltd and Another v Twins
Products (Pty) Ltd (1) 1989 (1) SA 236 (A) at 251J to

57 252G.
I doubt whether either leg of this argument is
correct. It is true that an expert may sometimes refer
to hearsay sources in support of his views. However, if
his views are entirely based on assertions which he
obtained from somebody else, it is difficult to contend
that the probative value of his evidence does not
depend on the credibility of such other person. And in
so far as the evidence is said to relate to a state of
mind, this may be true in respect of some of the
replies. It may be that in some cases the mere fact
that an interviewee made a certain utterance may be
relevant as indicating his state of knowledge (e g by
his associating McDonald's with hamburgers). In some
other cases it does seem to me, however, that it is the
assumed truth of what is said by the interviewees which
is ultimately reflected in the results of the survey.
It is not necessary, however, to pursue this

matter any further since I consider that, even if it is
hearsay, the evidence should have been admitted under
one of the exceptions provided in the statute. Sec
3(1)(c) allows hearsay evidence to be admitted if
"the court, having regard to -
(i) the nature of the proceedings; (ii) the nature of the evidence; (iii) the purpose for which the evidence is tendered;
(iv) the probative value of the evidence; (v) the reason why the evidence is not given by the person upon whose credibility the probative value of such evidence depends; (vi) any prejudice to a party which the admission of such evidence might entail; and (vii) any other factor which should in the opinion of the court be taken into account, is of the opinion that such evidence should be admitted in the interests of justice."
In the present case the evidence is tendered,
broadly speaking, to show the extent to which the name
McDonald's and its trade marks are known amongst the
public. In theory the best way of doing this would
probably be by calling a representative sample of the
public as witnesses. Expert evidence would explain how

59 the sample was selected and what conclusions could be
drawn from the results. This would, however, not be a
practical course to follow. First, it would require the
evidence of a large number of people. Second, the
persons comprising such a sample should of course have
no interest in the outcome of the proceedings. It is
consequently unlikely that such persons, or most of
them, would be prepared to become involved in the
litigation. A properly conducted market survey places
the replies of such people before the court without
requiring affidavits from them. No substantial
disadvantage flows from this course. It seems most
unlikely that any interviewee would lie in a matter
such as his or her knowledge of McDonald's, and in any
event the theories underlying such surveys make
allowances for a certain margin of error. There can be
no prejudice to the other parties. They are given a
full opportunity to check the results of the survey. In

fact in the present case Joburgers and Dax did not
seriously contend that the results of the surveys were unreliable. Their main contention was that these results had no probative value as being limited to too small a universe. This was also the view of the court a quo. Since, as will be seen, I disagree with this view, I consider that the evidence should have been admitted.
It was contended that the court a quo exercised a discretion in refusing to allow the evidence under sec 3 of the Act, and that its decision in this regard may be set aside only if the court of appeal considers that the discretion was not judicially exercised. I do not agree. A decision on the admissibility of evidence is, in general, one of law, not discretion, and this court is fully entitled to overrule such a decision by a lower court if this court considers it wrong. There is in my view nothing in sec 3 of the Act which changes

61 this situation.
I turn now to the effect to be given to the
evidence. The approach of the court a quo was to
analyse each item of evidence and to show that, by
itself, it has little or no probative value. In my view
this is a wrong approach. We are dealing here with
circumstantial evidence. In the well known case of R v
De Villiers 1944 AD 493 Davis AJA, dealing with a
similar argument in a criminal case, said (at 508-9):
"The Court must not take each circumstance separately and give the accused the benefit of any reasonable doubt as to the inference to be drawn from each one so taken. It must carefully weigh the cumulative effect of all of them together, and it is only after it has done so that the accused is entitled to the benefit of any reasonable doubt which it may have as to whether the inference of guilt is the only inference which can reasonably be drawn. To put the matter in another way; the Crown must satisfy the Court, not that each separate fact is inconsistent with the innocence of the accused, but that the evidence as a whole is beyond reasonable doubt inconsistent with such innocence."
Apart from the nature of the onus, the same rules apply

62 of course in civil cases.
As I have said above, I consider that it would be
enough for McDonald's to show that its marks are known
to a substantial number of persons who are interested
in the goods or services provided by it. On behalf of
McDonald's it was contended, correctly in my view, that
there are two categories of such persons - potential
customers and potential franchisees. Potential
customers would cover a wide field. It would include
all persons who like fast food of this type and have
the money to buy it. Since the cost is not high there
would be many such people. Potential franchisees would
be a smaller group, namely persons who can finance and
run a McDonald's franchise, or consider that they can.
The evidence adduced by McDonald's leads, in my
view, to the inference that its marks, and particularly
the mark McDonald's, are well known amongst the more
affluent people in the country. People who travel,

63 watch television, and who read local and foreign
publications, are likely to know about it. They would
have seen McDonald's outlets in other countries, and
seen or heard its advertisements there or its spillover
here in foreign journals, television shows, etc.
Although the extent of such spillover has not been
quantified it must be substantial. Moreover, as has
been shown, McDonald's has also received publicity in
the local media. The market survey evidence
specifically related to two groups of adult white
persons living in relatively affluent suburbs of
Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal. It is reasonable to suppose
that much the same results would be achieved elsewhere
among persons of all races who have a similar financial
and social background. These are also the type of
people who would have heard about McDonald's and its
marks from Collins, or who would have discussed these
matters with him, or would have written to McDonald's

64 to solicit a franchise agreement.

By the same token, people who are poor, do not travel abroad, do not read foreign publications or, possibly, do not read at all, and are not exposed to television, are likely not to have heard of McDonald's or its marks. It is accordingly not surprising that market surveys commissioned by Joburgers and Dax showed a low awareness of McDonald's and its marks among black persons generally.
These conclusions must be applied to the relevant categories among the public. Potential franchisees, I consider, would be the type of persons who would almost without exception have heard of McDonald's and know its marks. Among potential customers the level of awareness would be lower. Many people who would be interested in buying a hamburger would not have heard of McDonald's. However, a certain degree of financial well-being is required for the purchase of prepared food. Extremely

poor people are not likely to patronise McDonald's
establishments. Of the persons who are likely to do so, at least a substantial portion must be of the category who would probably have heard of McDonald's and know its marks, or some of them. This inference is supported by the zeal shown by Joburgers and Dax to appropriate these marks for themselves.
I consider therefore that at least a substantial portion of persons who would be interested in the goods or services provided by McDonald's know its name, which is also its principal trade mark. At least this mark is in my view well-known for the purposes of sec 35 of the new act. Since McDonald's has not in fact carried on business in South Africa, people who know its mark will also know it as a foreign (and, more particularly, American) business. It almost goes without saying that if the McDonald's mark is used as contemplated by Joburgers and Dax in relation to the same type of fast

66 food business as that conducted by McDonald's, it would
cause deception or confusion within the meaning of sec 35 (3) of the new act. In the result McDonald's has in my view satisfied all the requirements of this sub-section.
On behalf of Dax it was contended that its use of the mark MacDonalds in respect of its Durban business was nevertheless permitted by sec 36(2) of the new act, which reads as follows:
"Nothing in this Act shall allow the proprietor of a trade mark entitled to the protection of such mark under the Paris Convention as a well-known trade mark, to interfere with or restrain the use by any person of a trade mark which constitutes, or the essential parts of which constitute, a reproduction, imitation or translation of the well-known trade mark in relation to goods or services in respect of which that person or a predecessor in title has made continuous and bona fide use of the trade mark [from a date which is not now relevant] ..."
The question then is whether Dax and its predecessors in title have used the mark MacDonalds continuously and bona fide. There is considerable

67 evidence about the name under which the business was
carried on in Durban before Joburgers bought it. Much
of it is contested. I do not think it is necessary to
traverse it. In my view this point may be decided
simply on the requirements of bona fide use. The
meaning of this concept was considered by Trollip J in
Gulf Oil Corporation v Rembrandt Fabrikante en
Handelaars (Edms) Bpk 1963 (2) SA 10 (T). He was
dealing with sec 136 of the Patents, Designs, Trade
Marks, and Copyright Act, 9 of 1916. That section read
in part:
"A registered trade mark may, on application to the court of any person aggrieved, be taken off the register in respect of any of the goods for which it is registered ... on the ground that there has been no bona fide user of such trade mark in connection with such goods during the five years immediately preceding the application ...".
At p 23H to 24E Trollip J said:
"... 'bona fide' must be given some effective meaning. In my view it cannot be confined to meaning merely real or genuine as opposed to fictitious or simulated, or honest as contrasted

with dishonest, because it is difficult to conceive how a user, in the sense of the exercise of a right, can be said to be fictitious, simulated or dishonest, and in any event, a fictitious, simulated or dishonest user would not in law be a user at all, and the addition of the qualification 'bona fide' would therefore have been totally unnecessary. The words were obviously inserted to give a particular quality to the user which it was intended should defeat an aggrieved person's application.... The expression obviously relates to the proprietor's state of mind in using his trade mark and therefore his object or intention in using it. Kerly on Trade Marks, 8th ed. at p. 218, says that in the corresponding section in the U.K. Act
' the expression 'bona fide' is also used where the contrast seems to be, not between honesty and dishonesty, but rather between what is genuine and what is a mere device to secure some ulterior object'.
Now the system of registering trade marks is designed to protect, facilitate and further the trading in the particular goods in respect of which the trade mark is registered. The very name, 'trade mark', connotes that, and the definition thereof in sec 96 of the Act confirms it. I would therefore say that 'bona fide user' in sec 136 means a user by the proprietor of his registered trade mark in connection with the particular goods in respect of which it is registered with the object or intention primarily of protecting, facilitating, and furthering his trading in such goods, and not for some other, ulterior object."

69 The Gulf Oil case went on appeal (Rembrandt
Fabrikante en Handelaars (Edms) Bpk v Gulf Oil
Corporation 1963 (3) SA 341 (A). At p 351 E-F Steyn CJ,
who delivered the judgment of the court, stated that he
did not propose to attempt a comprehensive definition
of what the expression "no bona fide user" meant. He
then added:
"Whatever the full meaning of the phrase may be, it seems clear that user for an ulterior purpose, unassociated with a genuine intention of pursuing the object for which the Act allows the registration of a trade mark and protects its use, cannot pass as a bona fide user."
See also Oude Meester Groep Bpk and Another v S.A. Breweries Ltd; S.A. Breweries Ltd and Another v Distillers Corporation (S.A.) Ltd. and Another 1973 (4) SA 145 (W) at 150G to 151C.
Now in the present case sec 36(2) of the new act does not refer specifically to the bona fide use of a registered mark, and the context in which the expression is used is somewhat different from that

70 considered in the above quoted cases. Nevertheless I
consider the reasoning to be entirely applicable. A
"trade mark" is defined in sec 2 of the new act as
"... a mark used or proposed to be used by a person in relation to goods or services for the purpose of distinguishing the goods or services in relation to which the mark is used or proposed to be used from the same kind of goods or services connected in the course of trade with any other person".
Bona fide use of a trade mark within the meaning
of sec 36(2) must therefore be use for the purpose of
distinguishing the, goods or services provided under
that mark from the same kind of goods and services
connected in the course of trade with any other person.
In the instant case Joburgers was the immediate
predecessor in title to Dax. I have already set out the
circumstances in which Joburgers acquired the
MacDonalds business in Durban. Briefly, Joburgers was
interdicted from using the McDonald's trade marks. It
then bought the MacDonalds business and traded under

71 that name in breach of the interdict. Its purpose in
using the trade mark MacDonalds was not to distinguish
its business from that of others, but rather the
converse: to use a mark confusingly similar to that of
McDonalds. This is clearly an ulterior purpose in the
sense discussed in the above cases. Joburgers continued
to trade in this way until it was declared to be in
contempt of court. It then promptly disposed of the
business to Dax. On behalf of McDonald's an attack was
launched on Dax's good faith in acquiring the business.
In my view it is not necessary to consider this
argument. Once it is found that Dax's predecessor in
title, Joburgers, did not use the mark MacDonalds bona
fide, it follows that sec 36(2) cannot provide any
defence to a claim under sec 35(3).
I consider therefore that the well-known marks
application should have succeeded in the court a quo,
at least in respect of the mark McDonald's. McDonald's

applications based cm passing-off and unlawful
competition have therefore become moot and need not be considered further.
I now turn to the Joburgers application and the Dax application. As stated above, these applications have to be decided in accordance with the terms of the old act.
It will be recalled that each of these matters involved an application for the removal from the register of the McDonald's trade marks and an application by McDonald's for an interdict restraining the use of its marks. It was common cause that the decisive issue related to removal - if the applications for removal were granted, the applications for interdicts would fall away. Per contra, if removal was refused, the interdicts had to be granted.
The applications for removal from the register were brought under section 36(1) of the old act. This

sub-section provides inter alia:
"... a registered trade mark may, on application to the court any person aggrieved, be taken off the register in respect of any of the goods or services in respect of which it is registered, on the ground either -
(a)      that the trade mark was registered
without any bona fide intention on the part
of the applicant for registration that it
should be used in relation to those goods or
services by him, and that there has in fact
been no bona fide use of the trade mark in
relation to those goods or services by any
proprietor thereof for the time being up to
the date one month before the date of the
application; or

(b)      that up to the date one month before the
date of the application a continuous period
of five years or longer elapsed during which
the trade mark was a registered trade mark
and during which there was no bona fide use
thereof in relation to those goods or
services by any proprietor thereof for the
time being;"

A. great deal of evidence and argument was presented to
us on whether Joburgers and Dax have established a case
for removal under these provisions, and, if they have,
whether McDonald's has succeeded in showing that, as
far as the application under section 36(1)(b) was

74 concerned, its non-use of the marks was excusable as
being "due to special circumstances in the trade" for
the purposes of sec 36(2). In my view it is not
necessary to consider these aspects. The position now
is that the well-known marks application has
succeeded, at least as far as the mark "McDonald's" is
concerned. Although, as stated above, there are some
McDonald's marks which do not incorporate the name
McDonald's, we were assured that the marks were all in
some way associated with one another. Moreover, the
case was fought on a winner take all principle. It was
not suggested by Joburgers or Dax that, even if the
marks containing the name McDonald's were well known,
they would still be entitled to use, say, the clown
device. The prize at issue is the mark McDonald's. The
well-known marks application has effectively awarded it
to McDonald's.
In these circumstances it seems anomalous and even

futile to proceed with the applications for removal
from the register. Even if these applications succeeded it would not benefit Joburgers or Dax. They would still be interdicted from using the mark McDonald's.
It has been held that, because section 36(1) states that a registered trade mark "may" be removed from the register in the circumstances specified therein, the tribunal has a general discretion to refuse expungement in addition to the specific terms of the section. See Webster and Page, op cit, at 371 to 372 and authorities there cited. As far as this court is concerned, the matter is, however, still open. See Distillers Corporation (S A) Ltd v S A Breweries Ltd and Another; Oude Meester Groep Bpk and Another v S A Breweries Ltd 1976 (3) SA 514 (A) at 540C. The parties before us, and the court a quo, accepted that such a discretion exists. The circumstances of the present case show, in my view, how desirable it is, from a

76 practical point of view, that such a discretion should
exist. The use of the word "may" in the section appears
to grant a discretion. The weight of authority, as
discussed in Webster and Page, supra, is in favour of
its existence. We should therefore now hold, I
consider, that the court retains a general or residual
discretion to refuse to remove a trade mark from the
register even where sec 36(1)(a) or (b) is applicable.
It goes without saying that a party who has shown
himself entitled to relief under the section will not
be deprived of such relief by the exercise of a general
discretion unless the circumstances are exceptional. In
my view the present circumstances are indeed
It was argued on behalf of Joburgers and Dax that
the court was not entitled to have regard to the
success of the well-known marks application when
deciding the applications for removal from the

77 register. The latter applications, it was contended,
fell to be decided under the old act. Reference to the
new act was accordingly not permitted.
This argument, I consider, betrays some confusion
of thought. It is true that the applications have to be
decided under the old act (see sec 3(2) of the new
act) . The old act empowers the court to refuse the
applications in the exercise of a general discretion.
In deciding whether to exercise this discretion, the
court must have regard to all relevant facts and
circumstances. In this case it is a relevant
circumstance that it would serve no purpose to allow
the applications because Joburgers and Dax are in any
event not entitled to use the relevant marks by reason
of legislation other than the old act. In making use of
this circumstance the court is not deciding the removal
applications according to any statute other than the
old act. It is merely applying the principles of the

old act to the facts and circumstances relevant to the
exercise of its discretion.
Then it was argued that the court a quo declined to exercise its discretion in favour of McDonald's, and that this court should not interfere with that decision unless the discretion was not properly and judicially exercised. Although there was some argument on the merits of the court's decision, I do not consider it necessary to decide whether the court a quo, on the facts considered by it, should have exercised its discretion against ordering removal of the marks from the register. The position was entirely changed by the conclusion that the well-known marks application should have succeeded. This conclusion means that, in my view, the court a quo exercised its discretion on a basis that was fundamentally wrong. Clearly this court is at large to express its own view on the matter. And, for the reasons I have given, I consider that we should

79 refuse the applications for removal.
In the result the following order is made.
(A)      McDonald's application to adduce further
evidence is dismissed with costs, including the costs
of two counsel.

(B)      The appeals in all three matters are allowed
with costs, including the costs of two counsel. The
orders of the court a quo are set aside and the
following substituted:

(1) In the well-known marks application
(case number 11700/95):
The First and Second Respondents are hereby interdicted and restrained, with costs, from imitating, reproducing or translating in the Republic of South Africa any of the Applicant's trade marks in which the word McDonald or McDonald's appears.

(2)      In the Joburgers application (case number
(a)      An order is granted in terms of
prayers 5.1 and 6 of the Notice of

(b)      The counter-application is
dismissed with costs.

(3)      In the Dax application (case number

The application is dismissed with costs.
An order is granted in terms of paragraphs 119.2.1 and 119.2.2 of the counter-application set out in the document headed "First Respondent's Founding Affidavit".

81 (4) All costs orders are to include the
costs of two counsel.