Franchise Law Update

Commentary on Business and Legal Issues of Franchising

The long awaited ruling in Mission Products Holding, Inc. v. Tempnology LLC (In re Tempnology) has simplified the intersection of bankruptcy and trademark law, with the court holding that rejection “constitutes a breach” of an executory contract and not an irrevocable termination of the contract. Tempnology licensed clothing and accessories to Mission Products, but Tempnology filed bankruptcy to, among other things, “reject” burdensome contracts such as that held by Mission Products. Section 365 of the Bankruptcy Code…
A wage and hour case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, is the latest front in the joint employer battle.  In Vazquez, unit franchisees of a janitorial service system alleged that they were employees of the franchisor.  The District Court granted summary judgment to the Franchisor, based on a prior decision from the First Circuit. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit first decided that the First Circuit decision—a class…
The female panelists at last month’s Philadelphia IFA Women’s Franchise Network Meeting provided so many great tips on how they utilize social media online to drive franchise sales that we couldn’t fit them into one blog post! Feedback from the 40 women professionals in the audience was overwhelmingly positive. Below are some additional takeaways from the day: Use an Outside Agency to Fill in Knowledge Gaps. The most frequently asked questions during the panel…
Yesterday, Washington’s Governor, Jay Inslee signed HB1450 [PDF] which targets the use of restrictive covenants in the State of Washington (the “Non-Compete Act”). The signing of the Non-Compete Act follows the recent settlement on March 18, 2019 of three cases filed by private plaintiffs challenging the no-poaching provisions in franchise agreements of Auntie Anne’s, Arby’s and Carl’s Jr. in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington. The new law will take effect…
Before signing an agreement with a new franchisee, franchisors often want to make sure the franchisee has the knowledge, skill, and investment necessary to be successful. While many people are interested in buying franchises, not everyone qualifies for every type of franchise. A franchise application is one tool that can help franchisors weed out potential franchisees who may not be the best fit for the system. An application can include questions about a franchisees experience…
Top marketing executives from some of the most popular and growing franchise systems recently spoke at the Philadelphia Chapter of the International Franchise Association Women’s Franchise Network meeting about capitalizing on social media to increase sales and build business. According to the esteemed panelists, by far the two most utilized social media sites used in marketing to potential franchisees is LinkedIn and the still classic, Facebook.   LinkedIn and Facebook  provide the most fertile ground for…
Today, we welcome guest author Elizabeth G. Hodgson from our Exton, PA office. Elizabeth represents clients in a variety of industries, including food and beverage, Pennsylvania liquor licensing, startup and growth stage companies, hospitality, real estate, technology and financial services. Today, she describes how an upcoming ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court could impact the wine and spirits market in nearly half the country: The impending ruling from the United States Supreme Court in Tennessee
In the near future, customers will likely be ordering their fast food through their smart home devices, such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home. Gary Vaynerchuk, chairman of VaynerX, a modern-day media and communications holding company, gave this prediction at the International Franchising Association Convention in February 2019. Lawyers need to be prepared for this because you want the consumer’s system to offer your client’s brand. We can envision this future when one of…
On the Weekly Fox Workplace Watch, associate Justin Schwam provides a detailed summary of the recent New Jersey legislation entitled the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD). This law prohibits non-disclosure provisions in employment contracts and the settlements of certain discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims. Any agreements settling NJLAD claims must now include a bold, prominently placed notice stating that, even if the parties have agreed to keep the settlement terms confidential, if the employee…
Fox Rothschild LLP congratulates Eleanor Vaida Gerhards, John R. Gotaskie, Jr., Elizabeth D. Sigety, Craig R. Tractenberg and Megan B. Center, who were featured among the 2019 “Legal Eagles” by Franchise Times magazine. The list highlights attorneys who have made significant strides in franchise law and were selected from nominations by their clients and peers. This is the sixth consecutive year Franchise Times has named Gotaskie and Sigety to the list and the fourth time…