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Franchising Code Changes - Five Key Areas of Interest

The highly-anticipated changes to the Franchising Code of Conduct are now in force.

These changes follow a parliamentary inquiry into the Code, which began in 2018. The inquiry saw many franchisees explain how their franchised business failed, and the consequences on their lives. It also exposed questionable business strategies by some franchisors, and has directly led to at least one enforcement action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

It is important for both franchisors and franchisees to understand that significant changes to the Code are now in force – many of which involve imposing civil penalties for breach.

This article contains a summary of five core areas that have seen significant change. 


The Crucial Nature of Trade Marks in Franchising

Trade marks are the essence of franchising. 

All franchise systems strive for widespread recognition of their 'brand'. A common thread between successful franchise systems is that their customers receive a consistent level of quality in goods and services provided under instantly recognisable trade marks. 

However, there are often complexities in the registration and use of trade marks within a franchise system. For franchisors, getting the licensing right is not always clear cut, nor is being able to secure registrations for new products. On the other hand, franchisees will often enhance the reputation of a trade mark, but have no ownership interest and can carry the risk of infringing a competitor's trade mark. 

This article explores the importance of trade marks to a franchise system, and the key parties involved in it.


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