Wake Forest Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law hosts annual spring symposium on Franchise Law

The Wake Forest Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law presented its 2014 spring symposium on the topic of Franchise Law in the Current Economic and Regulatory Environment on Feb. 28, 2014.

The event, co-sponsored by Kilpatrick Townsend, brought together a variety of experts and scholars who discussed the business and legal aspects of franchise law. Dean Blake D. Morant welcomed the group by expressing excitement that this subject was chosen, and reiterating it’s timely importance in our current economic situation.

Professor Robert Emerson, the Huber Hurst Professor of Business Law at the University of Florida, set the tone for the Symposium by exploring the definition of franchise law and its current regulation. Emerson articulated the history of franchise law, dating the term back to Europe in the Middle Ages.

W. Michael Garner, an American franchise and distribution law attorney, followed Emerson and spoke on trademark rights and the implications of trademark ownership.

Emerson and Garner were followed by Jon Neiditz, a partner with Kilpatrick Townsend in the firm’s Atlanta office, who spoke on Critical Privacy and Information Security Loss Prevention. He discussed how to best handle a security breach and spoke on the global introduction of “cyber security,” as a new way to protect data assets and secrets.

“Expand your minds to just how big an issue this is going to become in the franchise world and otherwise,” Neiditz challenged.

Following Neiditz, Barry Benjamin, a partner with Kilpatrick Townsend in the firm’s New York office, spoke on the legal aspects of sweepstakes and contests. Benjamin discussed the basic rules and functions of the competitions, detailing the ways they avoid being named a lottery. Using examples such as a falsely advertised Toyota promotion, Benjamin demonstrated how contests, either purposefully or by accident, violate their terms and conditions and break a criterion for being legal.

After lunch, Jamila Granger, who currently serves as General Counsel at Primo Water Corporation, facilitated a “mock deal,” which comprised of a regulator, in-house counsel and sales individual from Krispy Kreme.  This authentic presentation provided a chance to see how the information given by the previous presenters is used in every day franchise law situations.

Following Granger, Darryl Marsch, the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Krispy Kreme, gave the symposium’s keynote address. He presented on legal issues in domestic and international franchising, and discussed trademarks and anti-corruption legislation as it relates to Krispy Kreme.

“Franchising is a fantastic business model,” Marsch said. “It’s employed in a variety of businesses and affords people who could not otherwise afford it, an entry into world-class brands.”

Marsch told the audience that trademarks are the most fun area of Franchise Law. He said that at Krispy Kreme, they encounter around 50 trademark infringements a year. He described the many different ways in which the Krispy Kreme name or logo has been copied and falsely used, while explaining how they address and prevent this infringement.

“What do we do with infringers?’ He asked. “Crank down quickly and decisively.”

The Wake Forest Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law publishes legal scholarship pertaining to a wide variety of topics within the fields of intellectual property law and business law, while attempting to focus specifically on the intersection of the two.