IP ownership and brand sale
- Himanshu Dasare
- Updated: Fri, 25th Nov 2016
The business was all about the brand and unique menus. A rival group wanted that brand. The acquirers could see the potential for rolling the brand out to locations around the world and saw our clients, the sellers, as the perfect branding vehicle.
How we prepared the sellers to maximise the sale price in relation to its brand and intellectual property ownership
We acted for a celebrity chef and his restaurant. To prepare the restaurant business for sale, we
- Identified the intellectual property assets in the business;
- Protected the existing intellectual property making way for creation of new intellectual property;
- Increased the business’s value by safeguarding other aspects of the business’s intellectual property.
As a result our client:
- Registered the business’s intellectual property, which increased the business’ valuation.
- Established and retained some revenue-generating intellectual property.
- Gained royalties by licensing his intellectual property after the sale of the restaurant.
Background to how we dealt with the register of intellectual property
In 2015, we conducted an audit of the IP assets vested in the business. The celebrity chef already owned a registered trade mark for the restaurant. We discovered the business operated multiple variations of its trading name, logos and designs for the restaurant front, publicity material, menus and websites.
The restaurant trade dress and get up was unique. In addition, the celebrity chef owner had used his name, photograph and endorsement to publicise products sold in retail outlets.
Intellectual property roadmap
We separated the intellectual property rights of the celebrity chef from his restaurant business. This separation enabled intellectual property protection and assignment. In addition, it guarantees a separate intellectual property protection to the celebrity chef even after the sale of the business.
The register of intellectual property
The register of intellectual property broke down into that required for the business and that required for the chef.
Register of intellectual property for the business:
- Trade mark: trade name (and its variations), figurative marks / logos.
- Design: UK and EU design protection for design drawing, shapes and trade dress.
- Database rights: collection of data that was arranged systematically for use in the restaurant trade.
Register of intellectual property for the chef:
- Protection of intellectual property for the celebrity chef:
- Trade mark: name, signature logo and work marks.
- Design: UK and EU protection of drawings used on merchandise.
Where are they now
The restaurant business sold for a substantial amount due to the guaranteed intellectual property protection. The buyers understood the intellectual property register. The celebrity chef negotiated royalty payments for:
- The restaurant to use his name under licence;
- Merchandise sold under the restaurant’s name.
IP ownership and exploitation requires you to first protect your IP, before you consider licensing or franchising. Why not call or email me to arrange an informal discussion.