Trademarks and franchising go hand in hand. A fundamental legal privilege that you will grant to your franchisees when you franchise your firm is the license and permission to use your trademarks. Franchisees will copy your business concept and use your trademarks in the process. As a franchisor, you will teach your franchisees how to use and not use your trademarks, and it is your responsibility to ensure that your trademarks are registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) and protected from infringement uses by competitors. Because trademarks are so crucial to franchise systems, FDD Item 13 is dedicated to providing prospective franchisees with information about your trademarks.
A trademark can be the name of your business, a symbol depicting the business offerings, or both of them combined together. Franchisees mostly use it to identify the business, identify the goods they sell, and identify the services that they provide. A trademark may also include slogans that are used in the identification of the business. It is a unique intellectual property of the business that distinguishes the franchise from its competitors and rivals. However, just because your firm has a trademark does not mean you own it or that it is legally protected. A trademark has two sources of ownership and legal rights. It is critical that you, as franchise owners, comprehend and apply this principle. A common-law trademark is created by your actual use of a trademark and the rights that come with it. The second approach is to register your trademark with the USPTO and get the rights that come with it, which is referred to as a federally registered trademark. Trademark rights obtained through federal registration are far more powerful than trademark rights obtained through common law usage.
Now that you have learnt about what a trademark is and how to acquire it let’s know about its registration. Your trademarks will need to be registered with the USPTO at some point. Your entire system will be built around your trademark and brand as a franchisor. Common-law trademark rights are weak and may be inferior to the rights of others who may have adopted a similar or identical trademark (in a different region of the country). When you register your trademark with the USPTO, you gain countrywide trademark rights that are superior to anyone else in the country who might try to use the same or a confusingly similar trademark later.
If you’re in the process of developing a franchise, it’s vital that your franchise lawyer undertake trademark searches to see if your ideas are protected. If another company in your field has already filed or gained registration for a trademark that is identical to or confusingly similar to yours, you will not be able to register yours and will be forced to create a new trademark and trade name. If your franchise has already begun operations, it is critical that you get trademark registration and regularly monitor the status of your trademark registrations.
As a franchisor, you must control and supervise the use of your trademark by other firms. Your company and brand will be spreading across the country, which will bring with it increased scrutiny. Even if your trademark is registered, your rights may be inferior to those of a local business with a common-law interest if the local business was in operation before the date of your USPTO registration. Your franchise lawyer should assess the third party’s usage to see whether they have any pre-existing rights before sending cease-and-desist notices to what you believe are third-party infringers. You may be exposing your franchise system if your license and award a franchise in a territory where a third party has greater common-law rights to potential trademark infringement claims.
All that being said, now is the pulp time to enter the Franchise Magazine business. Franchise news and information are available in abundance, and you can create a Top Business Franchise Magazine in the fraternity. Franchise owners nowadays need a lot of assistance regarding the laws and regulations of running a franchise. You can help the cause by being among the top Business Franchise Magazines in the country. As a franchisor, you must keep a watch on the best franchises in the country that bring in the Brand Value and reputation a Brand Name holds. All this can be achieved by scrutinizing the number of aspiring franchisees can comparing it with the best competitors. The best franchise business magazine helps the franchise owners get information on anything and everything they need at a single destination.