Tag Archives: Trademarks

An Intellectual Property Primer for Franchisors

Intellectual property is a core asset of any franchisor. In fact, intellectual property is important to virtually all businesses. For some companies, it’s their most valuable asset. A basic knowledge of intellectual property law enables an owner or manager to facilitate the development, protection and commercialization of the company’s intellectual property and to engage in productive discussions with the company’s legal counsel. Intellectual property falls into four categories – trademarks, copyrights, patents and trade secrets. A trademark is a brand. It’s the words or designs that identify your company when it sells anything. Copyright law protects creative works. In the …

[ CONTINUE READING ]

Rulings Pose Obstacles to Franchisors Seeking to Stop Wrongful Trademark Use

A series of recent Circuit Court decisions has made it more difficult for a franchisor to enjoin a former franchisee from using the franchisor’s federally registered trademarks after the franchise agreement has been terminated. I recently authored an article for the New Jersey Lawyer entitled, “Will New Court Rulings Make it Harder for Franchisors to Rescue a Hostage Trademark?“, discussing the impact of these decisions. Since its publication, I have received a number of comments from practitioners in the area, most of whom represent franchisors. All are completely frustrated with the new hurdles imposed by these decisions on efforts to obtain …

[ CONTINUE READING ]

How to Bring a Franchise Brand to the US

What’s the best way for a successful franchisor outside the U.S. to launch its brand within the U.S.?  Here is one suggested approach: Start small.  Begin with a test. See what works and what doesn’t work.  What are the costs?  What are the best sources of supply?  Who are the competitors and what do they offer?  What prices make sense?  What local talent can join the venture and bring U.S. industry expertise?  A test will allow the brand owner to modify the system to meet the challenges of the market and then to offer a proven concept when prospective franchisees …

[ CONTINUE READING ]

Franchise Law Change in New York

My optimistic world view got the best of me at the start of the 2014 legislative season in New York State.  I thought that 2014 might be the year when New York State changes its franchise law.  The changes that the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) first recommended in January 2010 did become an Assembly bill at the end of the 2014 legislative session.  But no Senator wrote a companion bill in the 2014 legislative session.  And no bill came to a vote either in the Assembly or the Senate. The New York Franchise Act (NYFA) was already out of step with …

[ CONTINUE READING ]