Franchisees have a lot on their plate before they invest in purchasing a franchise. They need to interview with a franchiser, thoroughly read the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD).Trademarks must also be taken into consideration, too. These unique pieces of intellectual property are critical assets and play a significant role with any franchise.
What is a Trademark?
The mark helps set your business apart from the competition and identifies your brand to the public. This ensures that the customer recognizes the product or offering as one from your business, not a knockoff intimidation. Trademarks use the symbol ™ when they are unregistered but in the process of being registered; registered trademarks use the symbol ®.
Benefits of having a registered trademark(s) for your franchise
If the franchiser has registered all of the trademarks associated with the franchise, you, the franchisee, are in for a few terrific perks. Registered marks prove that these ideas are original and unique. They keep copycat businesses from attempting to lift your creativity and pass it off as their own.
It’s important to understand how the trademark is “passed down” through the franchise agreement. Franchisers grant franchisees with a license that allows them to utilize their trademarks. The franchiser will still be the owner of the mark.
If you, the franchisee, are left with unregistered marks from the franchiser, the best thing to do is consult a legal professional for advice. A legal professional will be able to better determine what the next steps moving forward should be for both parties.
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