Locke Lord’s franchise attorneys have a unique combination of business and legal knowledge that sets us apart from other firms. Our combination of in-depth experience handling all types of franchising and distribution matters with the backing of a full-service law firm enables us to efficiently provide all the legal services needed by both seasoned and startup franchisors. Our attorneys are experienced with virtually any issue that arises in these complex business relationships.
Whether the matter involves structuring franchise arrangements, preparing franchise agreements and disclosure documents, litigation with franchisees, forming franchisee associations or purchasing cooperatives, or day-to-day advice, Locke Lord has the experience and resources to help franchisors succeed both in the United States and internationally. Our franchise team provides legal services to U.S. clients with domestic and international activities and investments and to foreign-based clients with interests in the United States. We routinely collaborate on projects with attorneys from our corporate, litigation, intellectual property, international, antitrust, tax and labor and employment practice areas to give our clients a broad base of support in operational and dispute resolution matters.
We frequently write and speak on franchise and distribution law topics and belong to relevant industry and professional associations, such as the International Franchise Association. Attorneys at the firm are experienced serving as general outside counsel to national franchisors, providing strategic advice and managing day-to-day legal issues.
We are knowledgeable about issues involving the right of franchisors and their affiliates to acquire competing systems and/or operate company-owned business, as well as the post termination obligations of franchisees. We regularly represent franchisors in acquisitions, sales and mergers, as well as purchases and sales of franchise rights, franchised outlets and other franchise-related assets. We also advise franchisors in the organization and administration of franchisee associations, system-wide advertising funds and advertising cooperatives.
Protecting intellectual property and technology are keys to leveraging franchise assets. Our attorneys regularly handle research and development agreements, licensing agreements and other agreements involving the creation or acquisition of rights to intellectual property. We also help clients protect their intellectual property rights by assisting with the selection and screening of trademarks, the prosecution of patents and patent infringement matters and the registration of trademarks and copyrights, both domestically and internationally. We assist our clients in the commercialization and leveraging of the intellectual property rights they develop and acquire through the negotiation of licenses, joint ventures, manufacturing and supply agreements and similar arrangements.
International and U.S. TransactionsLocke Lord attorneys have developed a network of client relationships across the globe. We represent franchisors and distributors in more than 30 countries across Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North America. Our attorneys handle virtually every franchise or distribution structure around the world, including those relating to master franchise, master development, area development, area representative, direct franchise, broker, distribution, sales representative, joint venture and management arrangements. We have a thorough understanding of foreign business practices and social customs, important elements for accomplishment in dealing with foreign business associates. We recognize that in international business matters, these issues are sometimes just as important as our ability to counsel on foreign legal matters.
We are experienced at complying with both domestic and foreign franchise disclosure laws, including the preparation of comprehensive and cost effective disclosure documents. We also provide counsel on the cross-border aspects of foreign investment laws and regulations (including currency regulations and the establishment and operation of foreign joint ventures and companies). Our attorneys are fluent with foreign franchise registration requirements and procedures as well as export and import of products and equipment.
On the domestic front, Locke Lord has lasting franchise and distribution relationships across the country and we work with all business types, including single and multi-unit franchises, area development and area representative arrangements. We also work with manufacturing and distribution companies to develop tailored and network-wide multi-level distributorships, as well as distribution, sales representative, supply and agency arrangements. We work closely with franchisor-clients on pre-sale registration and disclosure compliance, including preparation of franchise disclosure documents that comply with federal and state regulations. Our attorneys also structure trademark licensing and branded product distribution arrangements.
LitigationLocke Lord knows what it takes to succeed in the full range of disputes that arise in franchise and distribution relationships, and are often able to resolve disputes without resorting to litigation. Our attorneys are experienced in the litigation and arbitration of franchise matters in civil and administrative tribunals, including enforcement of foreign judgments and obtaining discovery and evidence from abroad. We handle full-scale, complex franchise litigation, trade secrets and trademark infringement and enforcement of non-compete agreements and covenants.
Our transactional, franchise and distribution team works with our trial attorneys to structure and enforce termination procedures, post-termination legal remedies and covenants not to compete. Our many years of experience include serving as national litigation counsel for a nationwide franchisor and representation in mediation, arbitration and litigation of franchisors in the food service, retail, hospitality and other service fields.
The breadth of services we provide and our unique business and legal experience allow us to be strategic partners with our clients, and to assist our clients in achieving their goals and growing their businesses.
East Coast District Court Preliminary Injunction Upholds Texas Non-Compete Law in Win for Texas Franchise Corp.
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