Intellectual Property Law
We help franchisors protect one of their most important assets, their brand, through intellectual property registration, contracts, and enforcement.
Larkin Hoffman is a full-service business law firm. Our other areas of practice, including intellectual property law, provide complimentary service to franchisors. Attorneys across our firm are experienced in advising franchisors.
Our intellectual property attorneys advise franchisors on the management and protection of brands, trademarks, and copyrights worldwide.
Our services address all aspects of domestic and international trademarks, including:
- Selecting trademarks, logos, and domain names for brands (including through trademark searches)
- U.S. and foreign trademark registrations
- Defending against infringement and avoiding infringement of competitors’ brands
- Acquisition, licensing, selling, or financing of trademarks
Can I just license my trademark without franchising?
The 3 elements of a franchise are a trademark license, fees paid to the grantor, and significant assistance or control. Regardless of what the arrangement is called, if these elements are present, the arrangement is deemed a franchise subject to state and federal laws. Failure to comply with the franchise laws exposes you to civil and criminal liability.
Our copyright attorneys help franchisors identify, secure, protect, register, license, transfer, and manage their copyrightable works and creative materials, including any training programs or curriculums, operations manuals, and marketing materials developed by franchisors. We address copyright issues in the U.S. and in major global transactions. We advise clients in creating company policies regarding the usage of copyrighted material, implementing registration strategies, enforcing copyrights against infringers, and litigating to defend valuable copyrights.
We analyze your brands and develop global policies, procedures, and budgets for the protection of each brand. Our attorneys collaborate with franchisors in developing product categories and descriptions. We then select appropriate jurisdictions for national filings, and analyze the utility of treaty-based multinational filings. Our strategy is forward-looking – to ensure robust protection of each brand as it grows in recognition, geographic territory, and across product categories.
We work aggressively to protect and enforce a client’s trademarks. We develop a unique, tailored trademark enforcement strategy for each franchisor, and we monitor trademark applications worldwide for those that may conflict with existing or newly acquired brands. Our attorneys monitor domain name registrations and Internet activities for infringing activities.
We advise franchisors regarding advertising, sales, and marketing laws and regulations, including responses to private and public inquiries. Attorneys within our brand protection team contract with advertising and public relations agencies, review promotions and sweepstakes, and review quality control requirements. We can also review and revise your trademark usage restrictions contained in your operations manuals or brand standards.