A Review Of WIPO’s Guide – In Good Company: Managing Intellectual Property Issues In Franchising

My firm, being a member of the Franchising and Licensing Association, we played our part in its annual Franchise and Licensing Asia trade fair by giving one of the “educational talks”. From its attendance, it iAs obvious that the interests generated in franchising by the show are substantial. Therefore, I would like to arm readers, especially, potential franchisees with as much knowledge as possible.

It is not possible to address all the issues of franchising in one column. Perhaps, this is a fitting time to review World Intellectual Property Organisation’s (“WIPO”) publication, “In Good Company: Managing Intellectual Property Issues in Franchising”. Instead of writing about it myself, this review will point readers in the right direction in finding out more.

This guide has been published in 2012 by WIPO’s Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Division. Its publication is much welcomed. It is meant for potential franchisors, franchisees and managers of franchise businesses.

“In Good Company: Managing Intellectual Property Issues in Franchising” reminds us of the different forms of franchising. However, it concentrates on Business Format Franchising. This is what the public usually identifies as franchising – licensing of a complete business model.

The guidebook helps us to navigate the complex process of franchising, from its development to end. It takes a legal-business approach and includes many helpful tips, as well as case studies. Singaporean readers may find it interesting to see “Ya Kun” in page 20 and 21 of the guide.

The publication is an easy read. It highlights the importance of intellectual property in a franchise. Not only would I recommend it to a potential franchisee, it is a good read for seasoned franchise professionals. Young IP lawyers will find it useful, as you need to know the business methods in order to advise well.

The publication is free and can be found at:


This article was written by George Hwang, Director at George Hwang LL.C, a law firm based in Singapore.

Known for his clarity and focus, commercial acumen and strategic foresight, George’s practice focuses on Intellectual Property, Information Technology, Entertainment and Media Law.

With more than 15 years of experience in the industry, George is the leading expert in copyright contracts, IP transactions and management.

George can be reached at george@georgehwangllc.com.

For more information, please contact george@georgehwangllc.com.