Cozen O’Connor is known as a leading advocate of franchisors, although our attorneys have experience representing all parties in franchise negotiations and litigation. We represent companies of many sizes in many sectors, including food and beverage, retail and luxury goods, concessions, entertainment and sports, defense, manufacturing, finance, and technology. We help clients develop and implement regional or national franchise operations that build the business without permitting the dilution or misuse of intellectual property. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling franchise disputes involving allegations of breach of contract, trademark or copyright infringement, unfair competition, false advertising, or theft of trade secrets. Cozen O’Connor attorneys litigate IP-related claims arising from franchise agreements throughout the United States and act as national litigation counsel for certain franchisors.

In today’s legal marketplace, many so-called intellectual property boutiques list franchising as among their areas of specialization. And while these small firms may be able to draft franchising contracts, most simply do not have the capacity to enforce those contracts on a national level. This is problematic because parties in franchise agreements, unlike in other areas of IP law, must strictly enforce the terms of those contracts or expose themselves to lawsuits from third parties. Cozen O’Connor has in excess of 40 highly trained IP litigators who are able to closely monitor franchise activity and act immediately when issues arise.

The other benefit of working with Cozen O’Connor, a full-service firm, is that we combine sophisticated intellectual property services with strong transactional and corporate services. Our IP attorneys routinely confer with colleagues in the firm’s premier real estate, tax, commercial litigation, and labor & employment practices to provide comprehensive, practical legal advice to major franchise clients.



  • Develop and implement domestic and international franchise operations
  • Draft and analyze franchise agreements
  • Advise on patent issues, including freedom to operate, clearance, validity, due diligence, infringement, and enforcement
  • Advise on trademark, trade dress, and copyright clearance, registrability, prosecution, monetization, and enforcement
  • Handle due diligence
  • Obtain proper licensing
  • Draft and analyze publicity and privacy policies
  • Represent franchise clients in counterfeiting, price discrimination, and antitrust matters
  • Litigate IP-related claims arising from franchise agreements


Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Holds Franchisor Not Liable as a Joint Employer of its Franchisee's Employees [Alert]

October 22, 2019

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided by majority opinion by Circuit Judge Susan Graber, with a partial dissent filed by Chief Circuit Judge Sidney Thomas, Salazar v. McDonald's Corp. No. 17- 15673 (9th Cir. 2019), holding franchisor McDonald’s was not a joint employer with its franchisee, because McDonald’s did not retain control of day-to-day aspects of work at the franchisee’s restaurants.

How Franchisors Can Design Programs for Budget-Conscious Franchisees [Franchising USA]

March 14, 2019

Susan Grueneberg discussed some pointers on how to design a franchise program that is accessible to prospective franchisees with limited capital.

Tips For a More Successful Franchise Renewal Season [Franchising USA]

January 31, 2019

Susan Grueneberg discusses tips to make the franchising renewal process more efficient and increase your odds to make the annual updates and renewals less disruptive.

Drafting Franchise Agreements After Patterson v. Domino’s: Avoiding the Minefield of Vicarious Liability and Joint Employment

October 03, 2016

Susan Grueneberg, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Franchising practice group, wrote an article on Patterson v. Domino's for the Franchise Law Journal.

Taking the leap: bringing a foreign brand to the United States

March 13, 2014

Susan Grueneberg, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Franchising practice group, wrote an article for International Franchising Law on the challenges that non-U.S. franchisors face when entering the U.S. market.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

Regulatory Update

October 18, 2019 - Denver, CO

2017 IFA Legal Symposium

May 08, 2017 - Washington, D.C.

IBA/IFA 32nd Annual Joint Conference

May 18, 2016 - Washington, D.C.

2016 IFA Convention

February 20, 2016 - San Antonio, TX

2015 IFA Legal Symposium

May 03, 2015 - Chicago, IL

In The News

Nine Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Recognized as 2020 Southern California Super Lawyers

January 15, 2020

Super Lawyers has named nine Cozen O'Connor attorneys to its 2020 Southern California Super Lawyers.

138 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 28, 2019

Best Lawyers selected 138 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 21 of the firm’s national offices for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Susan Grueneberg Named to Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2019 Most Influential Women Attorneys

April 08, 2019

Cozen O'Connor franchise attorney Susan Grueneberg was honored by the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of 2019 Most Influential Women Attorneys.

Seven Cozen O’Connor Lawyers Named 2019 “Lawyers of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America

August 31, 2018

Cozen O’Connor is proud to announce that seven of the firm’s lawyers have been recognized as “Lawyers of the Year” in their respective practices by Best Lawyers in America, one of the oldest and most highly regarded peer review publications in the legal profession.

126 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 22, 2018

One hundred twenty-six Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 20 of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Cozen O’Connor’s Western Expansion Continues as the Firm Adds Two Attorneys From Seed IP Law Group to its Seattle Office

August 21, 2018

In a move that significantly enhances its Seattle office and expands its IP practice on the west coast, Cozen O’Connor today announced two attorneys from Seed IP Law Group LLP, Frank Abramonte & Lorraine Linford, have joined its fast-growing global IP Practice.

Cozen O’Connor Welcomes Lead Franchise Lawyer Susan Grueneberg to its Los Angeles Office

July 30, 2018

Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce Susan Grueneberg, one of California’s best known and highly regarded franchise law attorneys, has agreed to head up its global franchise practice.


Susan A. Grueneberg


(213) 892-7996

Camille M. Miller

Co-Chair, Intellectual Property Department

(215) 665-7273


Related Practice Areas

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