From the “truth is stranger than fiction” department: the operators of the website “ThinkGeek.com” were recently served with a cease and desist letter from a law firm representing the National Pork Board, alleging that ThinkGeek was infringing on the trademark “The Other White Meat.” The offending product? “Canned Unicorn Meat.”
Are you unknowingly operating a franchise system? If you are licensing others to use your trademarks for a fee, the answer could be yes. Under federal or even state law, a commercial relationship between two parties could be a franchise — even if neither of the parties intended to create one.