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Vol 2 (2004) - Issue 2

International treaties, conventions and agreements affecting franchising

John R. F. Baer, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP, Chicago, Illinois; Dr. Karsten Metslaff, Nörr Stiefenhofer Lutz, Berlin; and Larry Weinberg, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, Toronto, Ontario

Each year, the accessibility of foreign markets continues to increase with the ratification of new international trade agreements. In today’s economy, the importance of being able to diversify a company’s sources of revenue cannot be understated. Franchising is for many the perfect vehicle for entering foreign markets. In order successfully to expand franchise operations in these new markets, an understanding of the complex world of international treaties, conventions and legal agreements is a necessity.

EU Report April 2004

André Bywater and James Webber, Eversheds LLP, Brussels

This EU Report has brief updates on several issues: the continuing saga of the Commission’s investigation into Microsoft’s abuse of a dominant position; the launch by the Commission of several state aid investigations; and the approval by the European Parliament of the draft Directive on Intellectual Property Enforcement—to improve effective enforcement of intellectual property rights across the EU.

US Report April 2004

Michael G. Brennan and Tara A. Cope, Piper Rudnick LLC, Chicago

In this issue, US Report examines and explains the implications of two recent court decisions of importance to the world of franchising. The first case, in Ohio, addressed the issue of whether the two shareholders of a corporate franchisee could advance claims against the franchisor, when such claims were not available to the corporate franchisee itself. In the second case, in California, a trial court ruled that a franchisor’s arbitration clause was so one-sided as to be unenforceable as a matter of law.