The curious phenomena of why McDonald’s McFlurry machines are always broken is at the center of a legal battle between the company that makes the machines and a tech company that is trying to fix them.
In May, a lawsuit was filed against the machine’s manufacturer, Taylor, by a tech company called Kytch, which created a digital tool specifically for diagnosing and fixing the system issues of soft serve ice cream machines. Kytch’s creators first revealed to Wired that they were planning to file legal action in April.
Recently, a judge awarded Kytch with a temporary restraining order against Taylor following a list of allegations, including that Taylor had tried to obtain a Kytch device in order to learn its trade secrets, told McDonald’s franchisees that Kytch machines were dangerous and that Taylor had begun development on its own version of a Kytch system, according to Vice.
Prior to the creation of Kytch, Taylor controlled the repairs of its own machines, which reportedly break frequently due to the cold temperatures needed to chill the ice cream in combination with the heat used during its cleaning cycles. There are just under 14,000 McDonald’s locations nationwide and Taylor is said to benefit from a business model that enables it to derive a secondary stream of income from device repairs.
According to court documents obtained by Vice, Kytch alleges that Taylor uses “flawed code that caused the machines to malfunction.”
The legal order gives Taylor 24 hours to return any Kytch devices that may have obtained. “Defendants must 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,” the court document said, according to Vice.
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