BARGTEHEIDE, GERMANY - MAY 04: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT)  In this photo illustration, a Burger King App in the IOS App Store on May 04, 2021 in Bargteheide, Germany. (Photo by Katja Knupper/Die Fotowerft/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Why Burger King Has A Different Name In Australia
By Jasmine Hanner
Fans searching for a Burger King Whopper in Australia are often confused when they get sent to Hungry Jack's; however, the reason for Burger King's Australian name change is a remarkable story. In 1971, when Burger King was poised to open its first restaurant in Australia, the fast food chain discovered an American named Don Dervan had already opened a restaurant named Burger King.
Dervan had also snapped up the Australian trademark rights to the name Burger King once he noticed that the U.S. brand had yet to expand to Australia. The U.S. Burger King brand then allowed its Australian franchisee Jack Cowin to name his Australian Burger King franchise something different; Cowin, perhaps with a sense of wry humor, named the new Australian burger-flipping empire Hungry Jack's.
While Hungry Jack’s became the biggest international Burger King franchise by the 90s, the U.S. Burger King franchisor quickly snatched the Australian Burger King trademark as soon as its rights expired and overtook Cowin. Cowin was determined to see his franchise succeed, so he took the corporate giant to court.
The judges eventually found the U.S. Burger King franchisor guilty since they had agreed on Cowin being the master franchisee in Australia and still attempted to undermine their own franchisee by opening competing restaurants. After an incredible legal battle, Cowin won $71 million in damages, the right to continue the franchise agreement, and kept Hungry Jack's brand name.