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franchises need to protect their intellectual property

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property (IP) can be one of the most valuable assets for your franchise. It includes all the intangible assets which make your franchise great: your brand, goodwill, name, trade secrets, patents, and designs. Franchising is one of the most lucrative and effective ways to harness your business’ IP. However, as you expand, your IP also become susceptible to misuse and breach which makes it particularly important for franchisors to protect it.

Prospective franchisors should consider:

  • What IP they have;
  • What they intend to licence to franchisees;
  • How they intend for their franchisees to protect their IP;
  • What you want to remain confidential; and
  • How you will maintain the quality of your IP.

How Can You Protect Your Intellectual Property?

Franchisors can take many steps to protect their intellectual property. For starters, registering a trade mark or multiple trade marks will ensure that they protect their name, logo, slogans and phrases. Registering a business name is not enough to protect your brand. Trade marks will stop other businesses that also trade similar goods and services from using your brand to capitalise.

Franchisors should also put into their franchise agreements clauses which authorise franchisees to use their intellectual property as licensees. This licence arrangement will stop the franchisee from using the IP in any unauthorised way which can damage the brand.

Finally, franchisors should also consider whether they need to register other types of intellectual property with IP Australia. For instance, technology or research-driven companies may need a patent or design registered. Further, you may want to keep your trade secrets confidential through confidentiality agreements.

How Can LegalVision Help You Manage Your Intellectual Property?

LegalVision’s franchise lawyers have the experience to handle all intellectual property matters, some of which include:

  • Registering trade marks, designs and patents;
  • Drafting and reviewing franchise, confidentiality and employment agreements;
  • Handling IP disputes; and
  • Drafting cease and desist letters.

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