Search this article on Google: What are the key legal provisions governing Franchise and Franchising in India?
Franchising has become a popular way for businesses to expand in India, especially for foreign companies. But, even though franchising has achieved a significant presence in the country, there is no specific law that governs it. Instead, several laws together provide a legal framework for conducting franchise businesses. Here, the team at SimranLaw, a leading law firm in Chandigarh, India, explores these various laws to deepen the understanding of franchise law in India.
Key Legal Provisions Governing Franchising:
1. Contract Act, 1872: This act is the primary guideline for franchising transactions. It provides the legal framework for forming contracts and outlines rights and obligations of parties involved. As per this law, the franchise agreements must be fair and equitable.
2. Trade Marks Act, 1999: This act provides protection to both franchisors and franchisees concerning the use of trademarks. It prevents third parties from using or exploiting a registered trademark without the owner’s permission. Any unauthorized use can attract penalties as per this act, creating a protective shield for franchises.
3. Copyright Act, 1957: For franchisors whose business relies on proprietary content or unique business models, the Copyright Act offers protection. This act ensures that creative works – including literary, dramatic, musical pieces, and artistic works – are protected from unauthorized use.
4. Consumer Protection Act, 1986: Franchisees must ensure that they provide quality services and goods as promised to consumers under this act. Non-adherence to the standards can lead to consumer complaints and legal consequences.
Relevant Case Laws and Judgments:
1. M/S. Nandhini Deluxe v. M/S. Karnataka Co-operative Milk Producers Federation Ltd (2018): The Supreme Court of India held that the use of similar trade names does not amount to a trademark violation if the products are different and the name is used fairly and honestly.
2. Bharti Telemedia Ltd. vs Fastway Transmission Pvt Ltd. & Ors (2018): This case upheld that the Competition Act has jurisdiction over issues concerning abuse of a dominant position even when an arbitration agreement exists. This can have implications for franchise agreements where franchisors possess a dominant position.
3. Stovekraft Ltd. v. Butterfly Gandhimathi Appliances Limited (2018): The case highlighted the importance of maintaining the confidentiality clause in licensing and franchise agreements, keeping in view the protection of business secrets and the goodwill of original brands.
Navigating the complexities of franchise law in India can be daunting due to the absence of a dedicated legal framework. However, with the right legal guidance like that provided by SimranLaw, it’s possible to understand and manage these complexities effectively, reducing legal risks, and creating a successful franchise business.