We’ve already ‘handed over’ our brand to a distributor and its not working. How do we go about moving on from this distributor?
This question was asked during our Brand Appeal webinar. You can watch the webinar at http://opentoexport.com/info/webinars/#brandappeal
When you say you have "handed over" over your brand. That sounds worrying. Its yours if you have it protected.
If you have in place a distribution agreement or licence agreement with the distributor, then you should follow the clauses in the contract which allows you to give notice and terminate the agreement.
If it was a loose agreement then i would suggest letting them know its not working for you ( and therefore them) and agree to move on . Keep it amicable and a matter of logical conclusion.
The most important thing is the legal position with regards to your distributor, this will be a combination of the wording or your legal agreement with your distributor (assuming you have one) and also any legal responsibilities which are specific to the territory in which they operate, in some countries distributors have significant legal rights that go beyond the scope of your contract.
In terms of brand ownership, have you registered a trademark in the territory? If not then you have no means of preventing third parties from using or even registering the brand name for themselves. If you’ve got no registered rights, then before you start the process of disengaging from your distributor you should start the trademark registration process. Again the cost and length of time depends on the territory in question.
Happy to take a look over agreements etc and advise if you want to send them to me email@example.com
I’m quite familiar with distribution agreements due to my day job in the legal industry. As suggested by the answers above, the term of the agreement you have with the distributor would be the first port of call.
There are however some difficulties with jurisdiction. If you have any other questions, do contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.