Supply Chain Issues

Carmen and his team have protected franchisees in different franchise systems from unfair supply pricing and has advised both franchisors and franchisees on difficult supply chain issues:

  • Carmen obtained protection from unfair pricing in system-wide cases involving Chicago’s largest pizza franchise and a national manufacturing franchise.
  • As outside general counsel to a national brand engaged in the retail pet industry, Carmen guided the company through difficult supply chain problems stemming from “puppy mill” allegations.
  • As counsel to the independent franchisee association of a major brand, Carmen advised the association’s management on product supply issues affecting the brand.

In a related area, Carmen successfully represented a substantial international franchisor in supplier termination cases:

  • After Carmen took all of the depositions in a case pending in federal court in Los Angeles, he favorably settled claims for breach of contract and fraud by a terminated uniform supplier. The supplier alleged that it had an oral agreement to manage the production and sales of uniforms by several uniform suppliers and claimed damages for “custom programming” new computer software for the management of uniform production and sales.
  • Carmen and his former partners prevailed in defending a substantial international franchisor against charges of theft of trade secrets filed by the owner of new oven technology. The claimant had sought nearly $200 million in damages for misappropriation in rolling out its own oven product. A substantial part of this defense was to prove that the technology was already in the public domain (both in the United States and abroad), and that it did not confer a competitive advantage, as it did not perform adequately in testing.