A group of Kosovar entrepreneurs recently attempted to purchase a franchise of a U.S. business. While the presence of such a business would benefit Kosovar economic development, the Kosovar entrepreneurs were quickly denied by the U.S. company. It is unclear, however, whether U.S. trademarks are protected against unauthorized use in Kosovo, either under U.S. or Kosovar law, and it is possible that the entrepreneurs could use the franchise mark regardless of the rejection.
This Note explores the consequences of such unauthorized use. It examines both the uncertain nature of Kosovar trademark law and the nuances of extraterritorial application of the U.S. Lanham Act. The Note also examines forum and conflict of laws issues that would frustrate attempts to litigate alleged trademark rights either in Kosovo or the U.S. The Note concludes that protection against the unauthorized use of U.S. trademarks in Kosovo is sufficiently unclear such that use by the Kosovar entrepreneurs might persuade the U.S. business to reopen negotiations.
Matthew V. Topic,
A Strategy for Renewing Franchise Negotiations in Kosovo,
Chi.-Kent L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/cklawreview/vol80/iss1/16