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

  • 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
  • Pennsylvania: “Green” Reopening Phase Does Not Mean “GO!” If you’re in the Keystone State, you know that many counties will be moving into the Yellow and Green Phases of Governor Wolf’s Reopening Pennsylvania Plan on June 5th. This blog previously covered the requirements of the Yellow Phase.  But what does “Green” mean? One thing that “Green” definitely does not mean in is “Go”. That said, there a number of broader re-openings in the Green Phase as opposed to the Yellow Phase: Continued telework is “strongly encouraged”. Businesses with in-person operations must... More
  • Memorial Day 2020 Longtime readers of this blog know that Memorial Day is special around here. Memorial Day, of course, is the day established by General John A. Logan, Commander in Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, when we pause to remember, and honor, those who gave, as Abraham Lincoln so eloquently expressed it, the last full measure of devotion for their country. In this vein, not too long ago, the podcast 99% Invisible did a fascinating report on the history of,... More
  • What the Heck Does Yellow Phase Re-Opening Mean (Pennsylvania)? (Updated 5/31/20) Yellow traffic light with yellow color, 3D rendering isolated on white background Let’s posit you have operations in Pennsylvania, where I live, and those operations are in located in one of the Northcentral or Northwestern Counties (including Erie) that went to Yellow Phase on May 8th, one of the Southwestern Counties (including Pittsburgh) that went to Yellow Phase on May 15th, or one of the many counties going to Yellow Phase on June 5th. Now you’re probably trying to figure out... More
  • THE BALLAD OF THE HARE AND THE TORTOISE: FASB delays ASC 606 Surprise! On April 8th, FASB delayed for one year the implementation of the new ASC 606 revenue recognition standards for private companies,[1] citing the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to delaying implementation, FASB indicated it would investigate “how to reduce implementation costs relating to applying Topic 606 to initial franchise fees.” While the connection between implementation of the amended standard and the pandemic may be inexplicable, FASB’s reconsideration of ASC 606 is welcome news to franchisors. The delay does create a bit... More
  • SCOTUS Ends Willfulness Precondition for Profits in Trademark Cases In a BIG win for brand owners, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the plaintiff in a trademark infringement claim is not required to prove willfulness when seeking an award of a defendant’s profits under Section 1117(a) of the Lanham Act. The high court’s unanimous decision in Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil Group Inc. settles a long-time split among the federal circuit courts regarding whether proof of a defendant’s willfulness is a prerequisite to securing a disgorgement of profits. The Third, Fourth, Fifth, Seventh... More
  • A Rough Roll-Out for Payroll Protection Loans Need and speed can be a dangerous combination. Just ask Peter “Maverick” Mitchell. That’s a lesson that lenders and borrowers are discovering with CARES Act Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans. The CARES Act’s PPP provisions promise accessible liquidity support for franchises and small businesses. Indeed, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said PPP or Emergency Income Disaster Loans and Grants might be paid the day after applying. The early reality is proving to be far more challenging. The overarching issue is the urgent need... More