A franchise is a commercial relationship in which the franchisor shares his know-how with the franchisee, giving them the right to use the franchisor’s distinctive signs (trademark, logo and concept) to allow the franchisee to have commercial success.
The right to franchise is made up of many elements, including the right to intellectual property which forms an essential component of the relationship.
Alongside lawyers specialized in franchising law, it is also essential to consult lawyers specialized in intellectual property and trademark law.
A franchisor's distinctive signs may hold important economic value as they are often the first rallying signs for customers.
Intellectual property assets are at the heart of every relationship that will emerge between the franchisor and franchisee.
It is therefore imperative that franchisors protect their trademark in the franchise, as well as their concept and intellectual property assets before assigning them through franchising.
It is also highly recommended that franchisors pay special attention to these assets through being assisted by a lawyer specialized in trademark law who can advise and work alongside the franchise lawyer or specialist.
A franchising contract is premised upon the franchisor’s right to use his or her trademark in the franchise.
In the interests of legal certainty, both for the franchisor and the franchisee, it is necessary that the franchisor, being the creator of the trademark, guarantees its protection as best as possible.
It is therefore imperative for the franchisor to file the trademark in order to clearly designate the range of goods and services that they intend to use under it.
Our specialist lawyers are able to assist and advise franchisors both prior to the trademark filing procedure and afterwards. They also accompany the franchisor in all contentious and non-contentious procedures arising from the trademark.
Lastly, our firm works with the franchisor in all contracts dealing with trademarks, especially licensing matters.
Our lawyers handle the follow-up stage of these contracts for the franchisor, including their registration at the relevant trademark authority so that they can be used in evidence in disputes against third parties and as evidence against claims that the trademark has not been sufficiently used.
A franchise is distinct in the sense that the concept is sold at various locations, therefore constituting one of the main methods of recognition and identification by customers.
The concept will then be duplicated by all of the franchisees.
Franchisors must therefore be aware of how best to protect their concept in order to authorize its use at a later date without any problems.
Our lawyers accompany franchisors in protecting their concept.
Indeed, franchisors must know that the mere transfer of the material property of the concept by the architect does not entail the automatic assignment of all exploitation rights that the architect holds over it.
It is thus necessary for the franchisor to be granted an assignment of these rights over the concept in order to be able to freely use it and enable the franchisee's use of them too.
Our team of lawyers plays an important role from the moment of the ordering contract for the concept between the franchisor and the designer in order to oversee the transfer of the designer's rights over the concept.
We also give legal advice to allow the franchisor to eventually register the franchise concept, notably through a ‘‘Soleau envelope’’ at the French INPI or through a bailiff, or even for a design if all the relevant criteria are met.