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Rush Charles Nigut

Rush Nigut’s Answers

2 total

  • A franchise is threatening to sue my small business for selling a similarly named item. What can I do?

    The disputed item is a candy bouquet. My product looks different from theirs, but the description "candy bouquet" is the same as their business name "Candy Bouquet," which they have purchased as a franchise. If I call my product something else (e....

    Rush’s Answer

    You need to speak with a trademark and/or intellectual property attorney in your state. In general, an issue is likely whether "Candy Bouquet" is trademarked or protected by the franchise business. Typically, if you market your product under a name that cannot be confused with the trademarked name, you should be able to market your product without infringement. Whether "Candy Assortment" or "Candy Arrangement" is confusing is hard to say. Could be. You might need to think more creatively.

    First, you need to find out whether the franchise has the name protected. Second, you will need to determine whether your proposed name could be confused with the protected name.

    Consult a trademark and/or intellectual property attorney as soon as possible. This is not area of the law that you should proceed in without legal advice.

    This answer is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship created by this answer. This answer should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. I am licensed to practice law only in the State of Iowa.

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  • Franchise Contract question?

    I purchased a franchise in January of 2007 and the franchisor is now threatening to terminate my franchise agreement based on failing to hit 'required' minimum revenue standards. However, there is nothing documenting these standards anywhere in th...

    Rush’s Answer

    You should consult a franchise attorney in your state. Franchising is a specialized area of law and your typical business lawyer/litigator may not be aware of franchise specific issues. In general, a franchise agreement must outline the reasons that would allow the franchisor to terminate the agreement. If there is nothing in the franchise agreement that specifies the minimum revenue standards, it is possible for you to have a defense to the termination. It is critical to have a franchise lawyer in your state review the agreement in order to give you a more definitive answer. From what you have described it sounds like you may have a defensible case. It is at least worth exploring.

    This answer is not to be construed as legal advice and is provided for educational purposes only. An attorney-client relationship is not created by answering this question. I am licensed to practice only in the State of Iowa. Best of luck to you.

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