KFC in trademark licensing dispute with ex-franchise

KFC has recently sued the fast-food restaurant Chooza for continuing to use their trademarks after their licensed had been revoked.

According to the World IP Review, in 2007, the Fullerton-based restaurant was granted a license for some of the KFC trademarks (including ‘Finger Lickin’ Good’). However, in 2015, KFC changed the agreement, which allowed Chooza to continuing using the trademarks as long as they paid royalties and some advertising profits to the firm on a monthly basis.

According to KFC, the Californian fast-food franchise failed to meet these requirements and so the agreement was terminated. However, Chooza continued to use the trademarks without KFC’s consent and therefore infringed their trademarks.

KFC claims that the outstanding royalties total $10,000. In light of the infringement they are demanding that the ex-franchise restaurant should be forbidden from operating within a ten mile radius of theirs and they are claiming attorney’s fees as well as triple damages.

We will have to wait to hear the outcome of this case.

In this instance, Chooza was diluting KFC’s brand image by continuing to use their trademarks illegally. Furthermore, the Californian restaurant was also deceiving the public by wrongly affiliating their goods with that of the global chain leading to customer confusion in the marketplace, hence KFC decided to take action.

A trademark is a worthwhile investment as it will protect your brand and allow you to enforce your trademark rights over other companies that may infringe upon your mark. However, just having the trademark is not enough. Like KFC you would also need to police your market for potential infringements and then be prepared to act on them when they do arise.

For advice and more information on searching, acquiring, registering and enforcing Trademarks please visit our website, http://www.lipex.com.
Our unique database of trademarks for sale or license could save you time and help protect your brand.