Mar 15, 2013

Franchisees Bound by Arbitration Clauses

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston found that a group of janitorial business owners, who became franchisees as transferees of franchise agreements, had adequate notice of the arbitration provisions contained in those agreements prior to their transfer.  Thus, the court ruled that the franchisees were required to arbitrate their myriad claims against the franchisor…. Read more

Mar 1, 2013

Massachusetts Fair Franchise Act

The Massachusetts legislature is considering, once again, the enactment of a franchise relationship/termination statute titled the “Massachusetts Fair Franchise Act” (the “Act”).  The bill, similar to those proposed in other states such as California and Vermont, would prohibit a franchisor from terminating or cancelling a franchise, or from substantially changing the competitive circumstances of a… Read more

Feb 6, 2013

Non-Compete Provision Discharged Through Bankruptcy

A bankruptcy court in Texarkana, Texas held that breaches by two debtor-franchisees of a non-competition covenant in their franchise agreement with a print shop franchisor qualified for discharge through bankruptcy.  As the court noted, in addition to equitable remedies such as injunctive relief, Michigan law (under which the franchise agreement was governed) allowed for the… Read more

Jan 1, 2013

New Jersey Distributor Not Considered a Franchise

A federal district court in New Jersey ruled that an exclusive distribution arrangement did not qualify as a franchise relationship under the New Jersey Franchise Practices Act (“NJFPA”) because it did not include a license to use the manufacturer’s trademark or trade name. Therefore, the court ruled that the manufacturer’s termination of the distributor did… Read more

Dec 30, 2012

Applications for New Top-Level Domain Names Accepted This Month

On January 12, 2012, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”), a government-sponsored, non-profit corporation responsible for coordinating the Internet’s systems of unique identifiers, will begin accepting applications for new top-level domain (“TLD”) names. In the past, only a limited set of TLDs have been allowed, including the familiar .com, .org, and .gov… Read more

Oct 18, 2012

FTC Clarifies Franchise Rule’s “Exclusive Territory” Disclosure

On October 16, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”) answered an additional “frequently asked question” regarding the 2007 amendments to its Franchise Rule. The frequently asked question is: “May a franchisor state in Item 12 that it grants an ‘exclusive territory’ if it reserves the right to open franchised or company outlets in so-called… Read more

Oct 15, 2012

System for Producing Hot Pizzas Not a Trade Secret

A federal court in South Dakota dismissed claims brought by restaurant franchisor Little Caesars seeking an injunction against a franchisee from offering “all day, every day ready-for-pick-up pizzas”. According to Little Ceasars, the franchisee was allegedly misappropriating the franchisor’s trade secret for “Hot-N-Ready” pizza for use in a non-franchised pizza parlor. While the franchisor argued… Read more

Oct 5, 2012

Manitoba Franchise Legislation Comes Into Effect

The Canadian province of Manitoba’s new franchise laws, The Franchise Act and Franchises Regulation, came into effect on October 1, 2012. Manitoba now joins Ontario, Alberta, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick among Canadian provinces requiring pre-franchise agreement disclosures. Details about Manitoba’s franchise law were discussed in our previous issue.