Bill’s practice focuses on franchise transactional work both in the United States and numerous international fronts.
At the international level, Bill has represented various franchisors located in the United States in connection with expanding their respective brands in various foreign jurisdictions through master franchise, direct franchising and other international licensing arrangements.
At the same time, Bill has experience in: (i) assisting foreign franchisor brands that wish to bring their brands to the United States, either through a master franchise relationship or through the direct offer and sale of franchises here in the United States via a compliant Franchise Disclosure Document; and (ii) negotiating international agreements with third-party franchisors on behalf of prospective master franchisees and/or multi-unit owners that wish to serve as a steward of that franchisor’s brand in a given jurisdiction (whether that is here in the United State or abroad).
Bill also manages the firm’s robust trademark practice, which includes trademark registration, prosecution, litigation (in both federal courts and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board) and portfolio management. As part of this practice, Bill has counseled franchisors and other clients in connection with various other intellectual property matters (including the licensing of copyrights and software). Lastly, Bill counsels franchisors on various matters at the domestic level, including franchise disclosure and registration laws and regulatory compliance.
Bill is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (cum laude, J.D. 2006), where he was part of the inaugural class that completed the school’s specialized Intellectual Property and Technology Law Certificate Program. While at the University of Pittsburgh, Bill served as the teacher’s assistant to the head of the school’s intellectual property department, and was an honorary member of the the school’s Journal of Technology, Law and Policy. Bill was also awarded the William H. Eckert prize upon graduation, which is granted by the faculty for the superior paper written by an upperclassman in the J.D. program.
Bill received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Elizabethtown College (cum laude, 2003).
Bill is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the District of New Jersey. Bill is also admitted to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
- American Bar Association
- International Franchise Association
- Pennsylvania Bar Association: Federal Practice Committee
William R. Graefe, Peter Viitre & Tammy Fahmi, The Importance of Realistic Expectations and Proper Due Diligence in Navigating International Waters, 2014 Int’l Franchise Association Legal Symposium (Chicago, IL), May 2014.
Digital Sampling: How to Bait the Hook, University of Pittsburgh School of Law Journal of Technology, Law and Policy.
Basics Tracks: Expanding Internationally, 2014 Int’l Franchise Legal Symposium, (May 4, 2014).
Altruistic Energy, LLC: Board of Advisors (June 2011 through the present). Altruistic’s primary purpose is to fund loans required to develop photovoltaic systems in low income communities (LICs) to deliver low cost electricity and lower operating expenses for businesses in those communities.
LoveLovingLove, Inc: Board Member (March 2010 through the present). LoveLovingLove’s purpose is to help disadvantaged youths in the Philadelphia community primarily through providing instruction and counseling on diet, nutrition and other health-related aspects of everyday life.