any of a large group of US fast food restaurants in many countries of the world. The company, established in 1955 by Ray Kroc, who based it on a restaurant in California run since 1940 by two brothers, Dick and Mac McDonald, has become a symbol of US commercial success. McDonald's originally sold only hamburgers, such as the Big Mac, but now sells many other types of food as well. The restaurants are especially popular with children and are regarded as typical of the American way of life. In 1997 McDonald's won the longest trial to date in British legal history (over seven years) against two people who handed out leaflets claiming that its food is not healthy and that to get the supply of meat it needs it causes damage to the environment. In 2004 the decision of the British court was declared to be unfair in some regards by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and the British government had to pay compensation to the couple.