Business format franchising is the granting of a licence by one person (the franchisor) to another (the franchisee). This entitles the franchisee to trade under the trade name of the franchisor and to make use of an entire business format package. This package comprises all the elements necessary to establish a previously untrained person in the business, and enables him/her to run it with ongoing assistance on a predetermined basis. Such a package is likely to include, amongst other things; training, business guidance in the form of a written manual, a franchise contract, agreed and protected market territory, and efficient supply of all goods required from components to promotional materials. Such a business format package should optimise all available IP to maintain and protect the brand image and reputation.

Brand Protect is a niche firm offering advice and assistance on all aspects of IP, including that which concerns franchising. With our breadth of knowledge we are able to advise you, not only on the creation of the IP but also on how to retain it. We regularly fight for the rights of franchisors in the High Court. The work that we have undertaken, within the franchising sector, includes:
Protecting franchisors from franchisees who try to leave the network and attempt to take the franchisor’s clients with them. In these cases, we have been able to obtain immediate interim injunctions against them together with damages and costs.

Prosecuting a franchisee who purchased the required goods from a counterfeit supplier and not the franchisor. Such actions can damage the service offer and the customer’s experience. This, obviously, diminishes the brand value of the franchise and should be addressed speedily (before the franchisor’s reputation is damaged further).

Protecting the franchisor from competitors who use advertisements to unfairly “ride on the coat tails” of the franchisor. Such advertising may tarnish the brand of the franchisor. Again this cannot be tolerated and needs to be dealt with quickly, effectively and as cost effectively as possible.

The examples above can only give a flavour of the varied work that can be undertaken by Brand Protect on your behalf.

How can the franchisor protect the business (and reduce future legal costs)?

An essential feature of franchising success is retaining the reputation that a franchisor has established through the business’s corporate identity; be it a brand name, trade mark, service mark, design right, business equipment and components, copyright, or company name. Often more than one type of IP may apply to the same creation and, in order to protect a business concept, a “multi- layered” approach to IP rights should be considered. Find out more about how IP protection is so vital to franchisors here. Brand Protect can advise on the best value approach to this protection.

All these matters can be complex. At Brand Protect, we won’t complicate things further or charge you the earth for our services.