IP ownership and brand sale

Gannons conducted a brand sale on behalf of a celebrity chef and restaurateur.

The business was all about the brand and unique menus. A rival group wanted that brand. The buyers 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.

Maximising the brand sale price

To prepare the restaurant business for sale, first we identified the intellectual property (IP) assets in the business. Then we protected this existing IP, whilst making way for the creation of new IP. As a result the value of the business increased, and the other aspects of the business’ IP were safeguarded.

Result for our client:

He registered the IP of the business, which therefore increased the value of his business. Then he established and retained some revenue-generating intellectual property. He also gained royalties by licensing his IP after the sale of the restaurant.

Intellectual property to register

In 2015, we conducted an audit of the IP assets vested in the business. The celebrity chef already owned a registered trademark 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. Additionally, our client used his name, photograph, and endorsements to publicise his products that he then sold in retail outlets.

Intellectual property roadmap

We separated the IP rights of the celebrity chef from his restaurant business. This separation enabled IP protection and assignment. In addition, it guarantees a separate IP protection to the celebrity chef even after the sale of the business.

Registering IP

The register of IP broke down into that required for the business and that required for the chef.

IPs for the business

  • Trade mark – This included the trade name (and its variations), and the figurative marks and logos.
  • Design – We protected the design drawings in both the UK and EU, as well as the shapes and trade dress.
  • Database rights – We protected the collection of data that was arranged for use in the restaurant trade.


IP for the chef

We drew up protection of the various IPs for the celebrity chef;

  • Trade Mark – this included is name, signature logo, and work marks
  • Design – this included protecting the drawings used on merchandise in the UK and EU


Where they are now

Our client used the guaranteed IP protection to sell his restaurant business for a substantial amount. Furthermore, the buyers understood the IP register. The celebrity chef negotiated royalty payments for the restaurant to use his name under licence and merchandise sold under the restaurant’s name.

“Gannons added value to my business and provided the assistance I needed to successfully make this sale”

    • Qualified since 1989, knowledgeable and approachable, John advises SMEs and their investors in a range of sectors. He has an established reputation in the technology, art and media industries.