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Thing is they didn’t – Not intentionally at least. When contracts are part of the deal with a business, things that are spelled out can include exclusive design use and who a company would buy their equipment from as examples. No doubt they and Taylor had an exclusive type contract in that machines of this design and purpose could only be sold to McDonalds. However bear in mind the McDonalds corp themselves do not design the machines. They only say how they want these machines to function, what features they want and so on, then leave the technical details about it to Taylor and approve the machines for use as made once reviewed. That does go back to McDonalds approving the machine “As is” but at the same time, realize such a demo isn’t based on a machine that’s been in use for a few months or years. If it works as they want it to when reviewed they will accept and go from there. Contracts for maintenance are also part of the deal and obviously they can be exclusive too, for protecting the design of it from competitors seeking to copy it or at least benefit from knowing about it. If any ‘ol joe could come in and work on it that would happen sooner or later (It’s not like it doesn’t anyway you know) and thing is they know it. That’s why it’s computerized with service menus and the like so only their guys can work on it…. Or so they hope. This “Hope” being that they are also the only ones getting paid when that happens and know just as it is with vehicles for example, the service dept of a dealer is where the real money is made. It’s no wonder Taylor would make such a move to increase frequency of service calls meaning more $$ across the board coming in. The older designs/machines didn’t have all this going on but now…. It’s a regular event it seems. One more thing – It’s not McDonald’s themselves making waves about it here. In the linked article (https://www.mashed.com/135144/the-real-reason-mcdonalds-ice-cream-machines-always-seem-to-be-broken/ ) there is mention of an app called “Kytch” that monitors these machines via Wi-Fi and that McDonalds is NOT happy about it. Note the following from the article. Quote:
“Kytch connects to WiFi. Once it’s installed in an ice cream machine, it monitors the machine’s functions, logging important data that’s often otherwise hidden. From there, it sends the data to a user-friendly, app-based interface where McDonald’s employees can troubleshoot issues and make minor repairs. Essentially, it eliminates the need to call a Taylor repair technician for a minor fix — and McDonald’s isn’t happy.” End Quote~ So… It sounds like McDonalds is OK with the arraingement as is. It’s folks that can’t get ice cream everytime they stop in are the ones making a fuss over it – That much is clear. I would think McDonalds and ONLY McDonalds in this case would have legal grounds and sole right itself to take action legally about it but seems like they don’t want to. The fact remains in such a case McDonald’s, and only McDonald’s would indeed have a legal right to file suit over it towards Taylor but I doubt they would win or even try to sue with the contractural agreements obviously in place – Agreements they themselves agreed to. Go figure.