Franchise and Trademarks

Franchise Trademarks are an integral part of the franchising model. Franchising benefits both the franchisor and the franchisee while bearing relatively lower costs. This entire model is considered very efficient in using Trademarks as efficient tools to do business. 

Franchising is an easy way to do business in multiple locations without incurring huge capital costs of building the site. The person willing to operate under the business’s name, i.e., the franchisee, usually takes these costs.

With the help of a trademark, a business or individual gains legal rights to intellectual property. These rights prevent others from using the name, slogans, color schemes, and business model. If there is no trademark in force, anyone can copy or steal the business’s intellectual property. 

The franchisor gives the franchisee the right to use its trademark to carry out business operations in franchising.

In some context, you do not have just to franchise your business, you have to franchise trademarks. By franchising trademarks, you give a license to the franchisee to use your business’s name and logo.  

Cementing the Franchising Model 

The entire franchising model depends on trademarks. To put things in perspective, if there is no trademark registered in the first place, how will the business grant a license to someone else, and for what exactly? If a trademark is not registered, anyone who wishes to use the business’s name, slogan or business model can easily do so without legal repercussions. Because there is no trademark in force, the business that owns the intellectual property will not be able to take legal actions against the perpetrators.

The benefits of using a trademark in franchising includes:

  • With the help of trademarks, the brand becomes easily recognizable among customers;
  • The customers can identify the source and origin of the products or services through trademarks. This eventually tells the customers about the quality of the goods;
  • When the customers understand that the business has a registered trademark, it helps them establish the originality of the product or service, which creates a sense of authenticity.

If and when the business decides to go for franchising, it also transfers the benefits of the trademark to the franchisee. This saves franchisee the hassle of doing additional marketing communications to attract customers. 

Taking Care of Franchise Trademarks  

There are some pointers that need to be kept in mind. First, the trademark is usually registered for ten years and is renewed before the expiration date. If the franchisor does not timely renew the trademark, it will lose its benefits. In worse cases, someone else might be able to register the trademark if there is a delay in the renewal/registration.

When opting for franchising, there needs to be a well-defined set of rules and clauses identifying what and how the franchisee should go about operating the business. This is a critical point because a trademark essentially becomes the business’s reputation at the end of the day. Therefore, if the franchisee does not perform up to the standards or hampers the goodwill of the brand in any way, the entire brand image will be at stake.

It is important to note that all the franchises, even though operating individually, are connected through the trademark and business name. In that capacity, it is very important for the franchisee to maintain a level of competency so that the customers can see the business’s success as a whole. Regardless of the individual operations, there has to be transparent communication between the franchisor and the franchisee to ensure customers get the best value.

Even though it is unnecessary to trademark for franchising, it is crucial. A business can establish common-law rights but these laws are relatively weak. In addition, if there is no trademark registered, another company might be able to copy your idea and sell them off further to garner profits.     

At Trademark International, we provide hassle-free trademark registration services catered to your needs, in compliance with the international requirements and standards. Trademark registration doesn’t have to be complicated, and that’s why Trademark International is here to assist with all of your intellectual property needs. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The process for registering a trademark varies from country to country. To file for a trademark in the US, you can file an online application with the USPTO. The USPTO entertains two types of applications: ‘In-use’ and ‘Intent to use’. The online application is known as Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).

Just like every country has its own registration process, the cost varies as well. Depending on the legal fees and the length of the process, the cost can go up or down. In the US, the price of registering a trademark ranges from $500 to $3000.

You need to file an application which should contain: your name and address, if it’s a business then the type of legal entity it is, details of the trademark, list of goods and services, the details of the class(es). 

Yes, you can file for both: a local and an international trademark. Some countries entertain a single application to register a trademark locally as well as internationally. 

Yes. It is possible to register a trademark in multiple countries with a single application but it depends on which union the country is part of. You can do this through the Madrid Protocol or EUIPO. 

Countries have different laws regarding what can be registered as a trademark. In the US, the types of trademarks that can be registered are slogans, shapes, names, phrases words, images, 3D shapes, holograms, smells, and colors.

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