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Log In / Register | Aug 14, 2018
Paul Steinberg's picture

The jury found fraud, and a judge agreed

It is surprising that a reputable company such as Firehouse did this. The record shows not only that Firehouse knew about this, but that they went out of their way to lie to the government.

That is very serious, and that is why the franchisor was forced to pay the other side's legal fees.

I spoke to an attorney specializing in this area, and he tells me that this is very rare--you don't normally find the smoking gun as in this instance.

It would be one thing if a franchisor made a mistake as to their rights to the trademark. That is not what happened here.

This was fraud.

The jury determined that, and the judge upheld the verdict based on overwhelming evidence--namely, the franchisor's own words.

When one of the most important--if not the most important--things you are buying is the use of the trademark, it is a serious matter when the purported owner of the mark knew they had committed fraud to obtain the mark.

Why Firehouse picked this fight rather than let sleeping dogs lie is a mystery to me. This is not the level of integrity one would want to see in a business associate.

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