The company which manufactures the McFlurry ice cream machines used in all McDonald’s restaurants has been hit with a restraining order after being sued by a company which created a diagnostic tool to repair the machines which break down regularly.
Vice’s Motherboard was the first to report that Kytch, the company which makes the diagnostic tool for the McDonald’s franchisees, now has a restraining order against Taylor, the ice cream machine maker. A California Judge issued the temporary restraining order against Taylor on July 30th, telling the company to hand over any devices related to Kytch’s repair business. In the lawsuit, filed in May, Kytch claimed that Taylor used a McDonald’s franchisee to steal trade secrets related to the diagnostic tool designed by Kytch.
Taylor strongly denies any wrongdoing, according to court documents seen by the Motherboard. The machines which make McDonald’s iconic ice cream often break down. In fact, the situation got so bad that one disconcerting customer actually started a website called McBroken in order to track which restaurants had broken machines.
The lawsuit alleges that Taylor had “designed flawed code that caused the machines to malfunction” to profit from machine repairs. It also claims that Taylor made repeated attempts, under multiple aliases and email addresses, to purchase one of Kytch’s diagnostic tools to learn trade secrets. The court document states that a Taylor spokesperson admitted that the company was eventually able to obtain one diagnostic tool.
The problem came whenever Taylor decided to produce their own diagnostic tool that was first designed by Kytch, with the help of a McDonald’s franchisee and the defendant Taylor Gamble. At the same time, Taylor told McDonald’s and McDonald’s franchisees that the Kytch machines were very dangerous, and that in some circumstances they could even result in “serious human injury.”
When asked for a comment on the whole matter, Jeremy O’Sullivan, co-founder of Kytch, told Vice, “These guys did a really effective job at frightening off all of our customers and investors so we’re hoping the public will support our case in the name of justice, right to repair and humanity.” O’Sullivan also revealed that the rumours propagated by Taylor about their diagnostic’s safety has had a negative effect on business, “We still have some diehard customers sticking with us. Though few in comparison to what we once had before McDonald’s and Taylor called our product dangerous.”
Vice also reported that Taylor had just 24 hours to hand over Kytch’s diagnostic devices and to “not use, copy, disclose, or otherwise make available in any way information, including formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process obtained by any of them.”
ARTICLE: NATHAN REID
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: BENZINGA
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