Latest updates

EPA must determine whether to revise solid waste disposal regulations
Sidley Austin LLP
  • Environment & Climate Change
  • USA
  • January 16 2017

​The US District Court for the District of Columbia recently approved a consent decree that resolves a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act citizen suit filed by environmental non-governmental organisations against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concerning the oil and gas industry. The consent decree requires the EPA to determine whether it should revise Subtitle D rules governing solid waste generated by oil and gas exploration, development and production.

Patent Re-examination Board recognises breakthrough technology for first time in patent invalidation proceedings
Wan Hui Da Law Firm & Intellectual Property Agency
  • Intellectual Property
  • China
  • January 16 2017

The patent for SEB SA's Actifry product – a fryer that can automatically coat food with oil – has been the subject of numerous invalidation requests. In a September 2015 decision, the Patent Re-examination Board recognised the invention as a technological breakthrough and maintained the patent's validity. According to publicly available records, this was the first time that the board based its decision in a patent invalidity proceeding specifically on the concept of breakthrough technology.

Decision on requirements of abuse of trust pursuant to Criminal Code
CMS Hasche Sigle
  • White Collar Crime
  • Germany
  • January 16 2017

The Federal Criminal Court recently set out the requirements for an abuse of trust pursuant to the Criminal Code by members of a management board of a stock corporation. The court clarified the relationship between a violation of duties of members of management boards pursuant to stock corporation law and the requirements for a criminal breach of trust.

Federal Circuit dismisses appeal by inter partes review petitioner
Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto
  • Intellectual Property
  • USA
  • January 16 2017

In a recent case, petitioner Phigenix challenged the validity of a patent which related to antibody-maytansinoid conjugates for the treatment of cancer. The Federal Circuit dismissed Phigenix's appeal for lack of standing under Article III of the Constitution. In dismissing the appeal, the Federal Circuit, among other things, reiterated the minimum requirements for Article III standing.

Sour grapes? Metropolitan Court of Appeal rules on use of winemaker's surname in trademark
Danubia Patent & Law Office LLC
  • Intellectual Property
  • Hungary
  • January 16 2017

The Metropolitan Court of Appeal recently overturned a Metropolitan Tribunal decision regarding the use of a well-known winemaker's surname in a device mark. The case was complex, as the applicant had obtained the consent of one member of the winemaker's family who was in the same profession, but not that of the winemaker. Further, there was a conflict between the law regarding property and the protection of vested rights and the law regarding the protection of someone's identity.

Cancellation of patent right can serve as cause of retrial for binding infringement
Lee and Li Attorneys at Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Taiwan
  • January 16 2017

An accused party which receives an unfavourable binding judgment can file for a retrial if the patent at issue is revoked through the cancellation action. In a recent case, the IP Court declined to investigate the defendant's patent invalidity arguments because such arguments had not been advanced until appeal. However, the IP Court's handling of the case was criticised by the Supreme Court and hence the accused party's filing for retrial was approved.

Customs steps up to fight counterfeiters
Gorodissky & Partners
  • Intellectual Property
  • Russia
  • January 16 2017

Thanks to a constant flow of counterfeits on the Russian market, Customs has evolved into a well-regulated government machine, which is orchestrating a promising number of seizures. While entrepreneurs will naturally factor in potential difficulties when launching a business in a new market, these rarely extend to counterfeiting. However, if the business thrives, the owner should be on the lookout for this sort of free-riding – the more successful a business, the more likely it is to attract predators.

Italy ratifies UPC and implements new contributory infringement rules
IP Law Galli
  • Intellectual Property
  • Italy
  • January 16 2017

With its ratification of the agreement establishing the Unified Patent Court, Italy could play an active role in negotiations on the future of the court and the unitary patent in the context of Brexit. The ratification law also modifies the Code of Industrial Property, adding a new rule on contributory infringement that will have a significant impact on rights protection – especially with regard to new technologies, such as three-dimensional printing.

Protection of trademarks and geographical indications under new IP law
Deriş Patents and Trademarks Agency
  • Intellectual Property
  • Turkey
  • January 16 2017

Parliament recently enacted the new IP Law, which will enter into force once it has been approved by the president and published in the Official Gazette. The law is based on the draft IP law released for public consultation between February 24 and March 4 2016 and will introduce some major changes regarding the protection of trademarks, patents, industrial designs and geographical indications.

Court rules on rights in environmental impact assessment
Schoenherr Attorneys at Law
  • Environment & Climate Change
  • Austria
  • January 16 2017

The Federal Administrative Court recently addressed whether the party to a winning project in a conflict procedure was entitled to claim rights in the environmental impact assessment for the inferior project. The court ruled that, on the one hand, the legal standing of a party in a conflict procedure is not strictly restricted to that procedure. On the other hand, the court found that being party to a conflict procedure does not guarantee unlimited legal standing in the approval procedure of the other project.

How to get online copyright enforcement right
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Intellectual Property
  • Canada
  • January 16 2017

The notice and notice regime is a cost-effective and useful tool in the ongoing enforcement of copyright on the Internet. It should therefore be considered as part of a comprehensive copyright enforcement strategy for Canada, developed with input from experienced legal counsel. A good enforcement strategy will recognise and plan for the various risks that accompany online enforcement, including negative media coverage and consumer backlash.

Court says Construction Act and scheme concerned with cash flow, not contract sum
Mayer Brown International LLP
  • Construction
  • United Kingdom
  • January 16 2017

In a recent case, the court ruled that the Construction Act and scheme are concerned only with cash flow and not the contract sum. Where the notified sum determined in adjudication concerns a final payment, the notified sum must be paid; but either party can have the ultimate value determined in a subsequent adjudication, litigation or other form of dispute resolution.

An unfortunate experience with SARS
Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr
  • Corporate Tax
  • South Africa
  • January 13 2017

The High Court (Gauteng Division, Pretoria) recently found that the South African Revenue Service (SARS) erred in its finding that the applicant had failed to pay certain amounts of value added tax and incorrectly levied penalties and interest. On the facts, it appeared that the applicant had made payment as required, and that SARS had incorrectly allocated the amount paid. As such, the court granted an order to the effect that SARS must pay interest on the amounts paid by the applicant under protest.

Number of quotas to be increased in 2017
Suter Howald Attorneys at Law
  • Immigration
  • Switzerland
  • January 13 2017

The Federal Council recently announced that the total number of work permits submitted to quotas for 2017 will be increased from 8,750 to 9,750. In order to provide the Swiss economy with the requisite amount of permits in 2017, the Federal Council decided to allocate 7,500 permits for highly qualified nationals – an increase of 1,000 permits for non-EU and European Free Trade Association nationals.

Facilitation of rules regarding industrial assembly agreements
  • International Trade
  • Russia
  • January 13 2017

The industrial assembly rules, which provide for a customs rate of 0% for certain car components, were recently amended by a joint order of the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Finance. In particular, the amendments reduced the required percentages of local production and extended the terms for achieving particular percentages of local production.

Application of Article 33 of Income Tax Law
Andreas Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Corporate Tax
  • Cyprus
  • January 13 2017

The Tax Department recently clarified the application of Article 33 of the Income Tax Law 2002 following the amendments made by Law 187(I)/2015. Article 33 allows the tax authorities to adjust transactions between related parties on terms which, in the opinion of the authorities, deviate from those which would apply in similar transactions between independent enterprises on an arm's-length basis.

International Entrepreneur Final Rule under review
Fakhoury Law Group PC
  • Immigration
  • USA
  • January 13 2017

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently proposed a new rule which would allow the Department of Homeland Security to use its existing discretionary statutory parole authority for entrepreneurs of start-up entities. USCIS recently sent the rule to the Office of Management and Budget for review; however, it is unlikely that the final rule will be effective before the Trump administration takes over.

Qualified retirement plans in 2017 and beyond: resources and considerations for employers
Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered
  • Corporate Tax
  • USA
  • January 13 2017

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced the elimination of the five-year remedial amendment cycle system for individually designed qualified retirement plans. The IRS further announced that each year it will publish a Required Amendments List and an Operational Compliance List in place of the cumulative list of amendments that previously provided guidance on these plans.

Courts recognise attorney-client privilege in antitrust matter for first time
SAI Consultores SC
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Mexico
  • January 12 2017

The First Collegiate Tribunal on Administrative Matters Specialised in Economic Competition, Broadcasting and Telecommunications recently ordered the admission of a trial against the Federal Economic Competition Commission, whose representatives had obtained confidential documents protected by attorney-client privilege during a dawn raid. This is a landmark judgment, as it recognises attorney-client privilege and the attorney-client work product doctrine in an antitrust context for the first time.

New trusts legislation
Harneys
  • Offshore Services
  • Cayman Islands
  • January 12 2017

The Trusts (Amendment) Law 2016, which was recently gazetted, has amended and modernised the existing Cayman Islands Trusts Law. Along with provisions addressing certain powers and the appointment and discharge of trustees, the law introduces a number of retrospective provisions, covering trustees, Special Trust Alternative Regime trusts and charitable purposes.

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