Franchise Savoir Faire

Article by Robert W. Emerson

Savoir faire is a fundamental concept in European distribution law, including franchising.  Judges rely heavily on the application and interplay of the French Commercial Code, Civil Code, codes of deontology, and European Union regulations.  Thus, a civil law franchise contract requires, inter alia, transmission of savoir faire (know-how) that is secret, substantial, experimental, and identifiable.  U.S. franchise law has little appreciation for savoir faire, but rather focuses on contract terms.  This difference in perspective poses enormous consequences for international franchisors and their franchisees.  Incorporation of savoir faire into U.S. franchise law would benefit franchisors and franchisees alike.


90 Tul. L. Rev. 589 (2016)