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

  • Pennsylvania Edges Closer to Normalcy Big News from the Office of Pennsylvania Governor Wolf today! While there does not yet seem to be an Order, the Governor’s Office issued a press release today outlining significant changes to targeted COVID-19 business restrictions in Pennsylvania. On April 4, 2021, the following changes will be implemented: Restaurants May resume bar service for the first time since November 23, 2020. Alcohol may be served without the purchase of food. The 11 pm cut off for alcohol sales and the 12 midnight curfew for removing... More
  • FTC: You Are Only as Good as Your Weakest Service Provider Contributed by Odia Kagan. This blog has discussed the importance of ensuring and auditing your vendors’ data security practices. A recent enforcement action from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) drives home the importance of being proactive about vendors and data security. Specifically, the FTC recently entered into an enforcement action with an analytics company for breaching the FTC’s Safeguards Rule issued pursuant to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) by failing to properly vet a third-party vendor it engaged. The vendor stored personal information... More
  • Insurance Coverage for Pandemic Losses Hard to Come By Back at the beginning of the pandemic, there was a flurry of articles that maybe, just maybe, insurance would cover losses at businesses closed by the pandemic. I was skeptical. Now, as more cases roll in, it looks as if that skepticism was warranted.  In fact, a recent case from my lonely neck of the woods–Western Pennsylvania–continued that trend. In the case, a tavern and restaurant business sought coverage under a policy of property insurance for lost business income relating to... More
  • What Franchising Needs to Know about the New COVID-19 Relief Law Congress passed a wide-ranging COVID-19 relief package on December 22, 2020, that provides over $900 billion in aid to individuals and businesses. President Trump has now signed the relief bill, called the Bipartisan-Bicameral Omnibus COVID Relief Deal, into law. The law addresses four areas of importance to franchising: the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and SBA Emergency Grants for shuttered live venue operators or promoters. Families First Coronavirus... More
  • Happy Holidays from the Franchise and Distribution Team at Fox Rothschild Warmest Wishes for Happy Holidays with your colleagues, friends and loved ones–remotely, of course! And, to all of those with an empty box on the Zoom or empty seat at the table this year, our deepest condolences. May 2021 be a year of recovery and rebirth in a thousand ways! ... More
  • New COVID Restrictions in Pennsylvania Hit Franchising . . . Hard At 4 p.m. today, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (who himself has tested positive for COVID) and Secretary of Health Rachel Levine issued new, “limited-time”, targeted COVID mitigation orders. The orders hit the franchise industry hard. About the only silver-lining is that, unlike the indefinite restrictions imposed last spring, these new restrictions have a specific time period:  from 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, December 12, 2020, until 8:00 a.m. on Monday, January 4, 2021. The following are the changes resulting from the new... More
  • FPRs in the Time of COVID-19 As if the global pandemic was not enough to cause franchisors and their attorneys heartburn, the North American Securities Administrators Association released a commentary titled “Disclosing Financial Performance Representations in the Time of COVID-19” to add another spice to the stomach turning situation. While it provides franchisors with recommendations on evaluating existing FPRs, it does not exactly provide guidance on what to do after you conduct that evaluation. Should a franchisor leave their FPR as is if there is not... More
  • Are COVID Immunity Laws Good for Franchising? (This post solely reflects the views of the author, and not that of Fox Rothschild or any of its other attorneys.) While I am not opposed to immunity laws generally, I am not fan of immunity that is too broad. Given that stance, I have grave concerns about the liability protections and COVID immunities being offered to business in the context of the HEALS Act and other legislation at the Federal and state level. Why? Because I am not sure they... More
  • The Green Phase Rules Have Changed in Pennsylvania I blogged a while ago about the Green Phase of reopening in Pennsylvania, and how it did not mean “go” but something more nuanced. Something like “proceed with caution”. Today, Governor Wolf called for even more vigilance, out of concerns based on modeling done by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia showing that the coronavirus is sweeping back into the Northeast from the South and West. Consequently, effective July 16, 2020, at 12:01 am,  Governor Wolf has issued a new order directing targeting... More
  • Key Data Privacy Considerations for Vendor Management Key takeaways from my partner, Odia Kagan’s recent presentation titled “Service Providers v. Data Processors: What Should Your Agreement Address?”  with Lexology and Exterra: As the “business,” the “buck stops with you” as it relates to liability to the individual customer respecting processing their data. Between you and your service provider/data processor, you can and should impose liability for tasks that you are engaging them to do for you. To comply with your legal obligations under the General Data Protection Regulation, California Consumer... More