Posted on Jul 29, 2019
The foundational concept of intellectual property rights is to guarantee the exclusive use and enjoyment by a creator of his creation for a statutorily specified period of time . These intellectual property rights include copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets, etc. The concepts of ‘franchising’ and ‘licensing’ are relative terms under the law of intellectual property but with marked differences in character and nature. Examining these concepts has become very important especially against the background that these concepts are either misconstrued or totally misconceived by the public, business or commercial experts and sometimes even amongst legal practitioners. This article thus aims to vividly discuss these concepts by looking at their very nature particularly within Nigeria. The article intends to evaluate and analyze the existing legal framework on ‘franchising’ and ‘licensing’ in Nigeria. Some areas of suggestive improvement will be highlighted in the conclusion in order to cater for the quagmire bedeviling the development of franchising and licensing in Nigeria.
Though franchising and other concepts like merchandising and licensing enjoy considerable commercial success globally, Nigeria has however failed to enact a specific legislation which tends to comprehensively highlight on how a franchise should be defined, operated and regulated. However, the Nigerian International Franchising Association defines franchise as; “a business arrangement whereby the franchisor grants the franchise operator (“the franchisee”) the right to distribute certain products or services in a particular way, at a particular location and for specified period of time. In return, the franchisee pays the franchisor fees and royalties”