Trademarks, trade secrets, trade dress and confidential information are essential to the franchise business model.
Carmen D. Caruso Law Firm has depth of experience in litigating intellectual property issues as they arise in franchising.
Upon the termination or expiration of a franchise or dealership arrangement, the ex-franchisee or dealer is vulnerable to trademark infringement claims arising under federal law for any unauthorized use of the trademarks or trade name post-termination. However, the ex-franchisee or dealer may have equitable defenses.
Trade Secrets, trade dress and “confidential information” are not always clearly defined, and the resulting ambiguity can lead to conflict. Carmen D. Caruso Law Firm has substantial experience in these areas:
Occasionally a patent owner will seek to convert patent licensees into franchises to extend the licensee’s obligations and commitment beyond the patent’s statutory expiration. This strategy raises unique issues we have dealt with. Carmen D. Caruso has successfully represented franchisees in a patent-based franchise system in arbitration with the patentor/franchisor.