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Vol 17 (2019) - Issue 2

Federal regulation of franchising – Does the reluctance of US franchisors to abandon it hold a lesson for the EU?

Dr Mark Abell, Bird & Bird, London, UK

The International Franchise Association is now campaigning strongly against a suggestion that the federal law should be amended so that there is no requirement for a disclosure document. It argues that a single system for the entire country has many commercial benefits. This article argues that the European Union should similarly aim for a harmonised system of regulation of franchising to make it easier and less expensive for franchisors to expand across the single market.

How should franchisors work with micro-influencers? – A review of English law

Craig Giles and Georgie Twigg, Bird & Bird, London, UK

Influencer marketing has become a big business. Many franchisors regularly compete to capture the attentions of celebrities and social media stars and attracting the right endorsement can lead to significant marketing exposure. However, a new breed of social media star is now is stepping into the spotlight – the micro-influencer – and, in order to deliver value to their franchisees, franchisors need to understand how to deal with them.

Italy – New rules on trade secrets (know-how)

Silvia Bortolotti, Buffa, Bortolotti & Mathis, Torino, Italy

This article provides a detailed analysis of the implementation in Italy of the European Directive on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure. Under Italian law, a franchisor has several means to protect its know-how and trade secrets from possible disclosure or abusive use by its franchisee (or former franchisee) or by its competitors. It is crucial that they carefully draft their contractual provisions.

Limits to approved suppliers systems in franchising. A Spanish perspective

Patricia Liñán Hernández, Bird & Bird, Madrid, Spain

This article considers the admissibility of approved supplier systems in franchising under EU and Spanish law. Analysis of relevant case law suggests that approved supplier systems for products or services not clearly linked to the image and reputation of the franchise brand require careful analysis, taking into account market definition and availability of market share.

Recent legislative and case law developments in Canada

Peter Snell, Gowling WLG, Vancouver, Canada

During the past year there have been a lot of interesting developments in Canada in legislation and case law affecting franchising, including refinement to the franchisee’s rescission remedy, injunctions, joint employment relationships, anti-poaching, use of arbitration clauses, prospective new legislation, and a move to settlement with 1,500 Canadian Tim Hortons franchisees in their class action. There have also been important updates to Canada’s Trademark Act.