‘Battle of the Brands’ as US Franchises Look to Enter

That was before Amir-Hossein Alizadeh, the owner of Tehran’s “KFC, “ managed to convince the Iranian government to let him open shop with a smiling Colonel Sanders and the signature buckets after five years of haggling.

But just like the others, this one turned out to be a fake. KFC hadn’t reopened since closing during the 1979 revolution. A Yum! Brands spokesperson said in a 2012 statement, “We have filed a legal action against the company and individuals claiming to have rights to open KFC restaurants in Iran.”

The process to file a trademark infringement lawsuit in Iran is similar to those in other countries. The registered brand must provide proper documentation and file a complaint with an Iranian court.

The brand titleholder must then register it with the patent and trademark office in Iran. As long as the brand’s home country is party to a relevant international treaty, their registration will be honored in an Iranian court, claims Salamat.

The future of Western brands

With the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers in place, a tsunami of Western investment is heading Iran’s way. A recently published World Bank report estimates that foreign direct investment inflows will reach $3 billion to 3.2 billion in 2016-17, assuming that sanctions on Iran are lifted and economic growth reaches 5.5% in 2017.

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