McDonald's Monopoly Game Prompts Patent Lawsuit

Nov 30, 2011 - LegalZoom News Sources
McDonald's faces a patent lawsuit regarding game pieces used in its popular Monopoly promotion.

Pennsylvania-based LaserLock Technologies recently filed a patent infringement lawsuit against McDonald's, alleging the fast food giant used LaserLock's patented technology on game pieces used in a popular promotion based on the board game Monopoly.

LaserLock initially sued WS Packaging Group of Green Bay, Wisconsin, which manufactured the game pieces. In an interview with Crain's Chicago, LaserLock CEO Norman Gardner said his company was not aware that its patented technology was being used to protect McDonald's Monopoly game pieces from counterfeiting when the suit was brought against WS Packaging in 2010.

Gardner told Crains he suspected LaserLock's technology was being used by McDonald's after seeing an ad for the Monopoly promotion. He said he went to a McDonald's, obtained a game piece, and confirmed that this was the case.

LaserLock contends that the infringement began in 2009.

"The company plans to vigorously pursue this violation of its patent rights over a three-year period," Gardner stated in a press release. "We have put in place the resources that will be required to pursue this matter to its conclusion."

A McDonald's spokesperson told Crain's the matter is being investigated.

In 2010, a California mother of two filed a lawsuit against McDonald's, saying its practice of offering toys with Happy Meals violates consumer protection laws. In April 2011, McDonald's countered that consumers are at liberty to not order Happy Meals, and requested the suit be dismissed.