When It Comes to Trademarks Franchisors Need to Do Their Home Work
by Ed Teixeira
Whether you’re a current franchisor or a business owner contemplating
launching a franchise program protecting your brand name is much more important
than you may realize.
A business trademark is one of the most important assets that a business has.
Some businesses with seemingly little value have been able to sell their
trademark or name for more than the total value of its remaining assets. In the
case of franchising, a trademark represents the brand that the franchise system
will build and the value the franchisees expect to receive when purchasing a
franchise. In addition, franchisors that seek to export their franchise to other
countries depend upon their brand name, as much as their operating model and
products, to sell master franchise rights. Today more than ever a brand name can
become well know or prominent throughout the world through the Internet,
Facebook and Twitter. This can lead to the theft of your brand.
There are a number of reasons why businesses and franchisors need to protect
their brand and trademark them as diligently as possible.
- Any independent business that contemplates franchising
their business concept or expanding their network, needs to
trademark their brand ASAP.
- A franchisor that is considering expansion into other
countries should trademark their brand. In some countries, such
as China, a trademark registration must be obtained within that
country since a blanket trademark registration (Madrid Protocol)
is not recognized.
- A franchisor may wish to register their trademark in
other countries and/or file for a blanket registration since
this could be a valuable asset in the event the franchisor is
Simply registering a trademark in the U.S. or in the franchisor's native country
may not be sufficient if the franchise expands or is sold. Franchisors would be
wise to contact their trademark attorney and discuss the possible need to
further protect their brand.
© 2012 FranchiseKnowHow, LLC
Ed Teixeira is the President of FranchiseKnowHow, LLC. He
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org