Intersection of Trademark and Franchise Law

In this Article, Daniel Shulman and Joshua Grant discuss how trademark law and franchise law intersect—and how that intersection can lead to potential pitfalls for trademark licensors. While ordinary trademark-license law is neutral as between licensors and licensees, franchise law is intentionally pro-franchisee. In particular, the authors discuss how what is intended to be a trademark agreement can inadvertently become a franchise agreement, giving the licensee numerous rights the licensor never intended to give. With that in mind, the authors explain why licensors must consider state and federal franchise laws before entering into a trademark-license agreement with a prospective licensee. They then assess which state laws lead to the highest and lowest risk for potential trademark licensors.

Daniel H. Shulman is a shareholder in the intellectual property practice of Vedder Price P.C. in Chicago. Mr. Shulman is a 1999 graduate of Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where he is currently an Adjunct Professor of Legal Writing. Joshua L. Grant is an associate attorney in the intellectual property practice of Vedder Price. Mr. Grant is a 2020 graduate of University of Iowa College of Law.

Recommended citation: Daniel H. Shulman & Joshua L. Grant, Intersection of Trademark and Franchise Law, 53 Loy. U. Chi. L.J. Online 80 (2022).