Franchise Law Update Blog

John is the editor of the firm's Franchise Law Update blog, which highlights not only the regulatory aspects of franchising but also diverse topics such as business finance, employment, litigation and the protection of intellectual property including trademarks and copyrights.

Recent Blog Posts

  • Court: Philadelphia Beverage Tax Is Constitutional Updating our blog posts of March 29, July 7 and December 26 of 2016, an appeal to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania seeking to invalidate the Philadelphia Beverage Tax on Sugar Sweetened Beverages (the “PBT”) failed.  In a majority opinion filed on June 14, 2017, Judge Michael Wojcik, joined by 5 of the 7 judges hearing the appeal, affirmed the judgement of the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas that the tax is constitutional and consequently agreed that an injunction against... More
  • Ransomware: How Can You Fight Back? Ransomware is back in the news. Yet again, massive and not-so-massive corporate enterprises find themselves at risk of having their computer systems and records held hostage to internet raiders. And, in an added twist, this time systems are not necessarily unlocked even after the ransom is paid. Copyright: tonsnoei / 123RF Stock Photo What can you do? The key is advance preventative measures. Over at Fox Rothschild’s Privacy Compliance and Data Security blog, we follow these issues regularly. There, we have noted... More
  • The Next Frontier in ADA Access Litigation: Online Copyright: byzonda / 123RF Stock Photo Are you ready for the next frontier in ADA Access Litigation? We invite you to read Part 1 and Part 2 in a series of posts by Fox partner Dori K. Stibolt, regarding the new trend in ADA Title III litigation involving access to the internet for the visually impaired. Many of these cases have focused on travel, hospitality, restaurant and service companies which necessarily include many companies in the franchise community.  Additionally, claims related to web access for... More
  • Massive Ransomware Attack WannaCry Spreads Worldwide Copyright: mikkolem / 123RF Stock Photo This past Friday, May 12th, ransomware known as WannaCry (also known as WannaCrypt or WCry) spread throughout the world, affecting more than 100,000 systems in 150 countries. Victims of the massive cyberattack included the NHS in the UK, cellular networks in Spain, universities in China and many other large organizations worldwide. For both franchisors and franchisees who are dependent on Windows systems, the attack highlights the significant risks and high costs associated with keeping cybersecurity... More
  • Tesla “Franchisee” Thwarted in Utah Tesla, the electric vehicle automaker, recently lost a round in the Supreme Court of Utah. Tesla set up a wholly-owned subsidiary called “Tesla UT” that was to hold a license to sell Tesla’s cars to the public. The Utah Supreme Court, in a narrow but unanimous decision, held that the arrangement between Tesla and Tesla UT amounted to an illegal automobile franchise under Utah law. The case turned on a relatively straightforward point of Utah law. To wit, in Utah, automobile... More
  • Debit Card Swipe Fees Only Hurdle to Dodd-Frank Repeal? Respecting a issue of great importance to the franchise community, Bloomberg Law this morning is reporting that repealing a cap on debit card transaction fees is the only issue holding up an otherwise unified Republican bill to revamp and largely repeal the Dodd-Frank Act, the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017. Copyright: leaf / 123RF Stock Photo Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) told Bloomberg that the cap on debit card transaction fees is the “single most contentious portion” of the repeal bill.  The cap,... More
  • Here’s What You Need to Know about British Columbia’s New Franchise Law Contributed by Judy Rost and Ryan Howe* On February 1, 2017, the Franchises Act S.B.C. 2015, c. 35 (the “Act”) came into force in the province of British Columbia, Canada. What this means for franchising in British Columbia: The most important implication for franchisors with operations in British Columbia (“BC”) will be the franchise disclosure requirements stipulated under section 5 of the Act, and as prescribed by the Franchises Regulation, B.C. Reg. 238/2016 (the “Regulation”). Much like the existing legislation in Ontario and... More
  • First Time in over 20 Years: The DOJ and FTC Have Updated their Antitrust Guidelines for the Licensing of IP Contributed by Ted Jobes, Chair of Fox Rothschild’s Anti-Trust Practice Group 62267877 – a word cloud of brand licensing related items Updating policies that had been on the books for more than two decades, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission has issued new Antitrust Guidelines for the Licensing of Intellectual Property that replace guidelines issued by the same agencies in April 1995. Such guidelines state the antitrust enforcement policy of the agencies relating to the licensing of intellectual property protected... More
  • Coming Attractions: Can You Surcharge? A very important case for the retail industry–and all franchisors and franchisees operating within it–will be argued before the United States Supreme Court on January 10, 2017. The case is Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman. The issue is credit card surcharges. The background is pretty simple. New York, nine other states, and Puerto Rico prohibit retailers from engaging in the practice of charging a surcharge when a customer uses a credit card. Importantly, the ten states involved are some of the... More
  • State Regulators Strike Back: Franchisees Reclassified as Employees While the changes coming to Our Nation’s Capital in 2017 likely mean the end of the fight over reclassifying franchisees as employees at the federal government level, a recent New York state case suggests that the battle will remain alive and well at the state level. The case, In re Baez, was decided by the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division. The question presented by the case was whether the franchisor, Jani-Pro Cleaning  Systems (“Jani-Pro”) was the employer of two independent... More