Latest updates

Court rules on fictive ownership of copyright
AKD
  • Litigation
  • Netherlands
  • February 28 2017

The Rotterdam District Court recently rendered its judgment in a matter between two parties that had jointly run a food truck. After having gone their separate ways, the food truck owner continued to operate the business. When the other party continued to use the business's name and logo, the food truck owner demanded that it cease to do so and commenced proceedings to that effect.

Sanctioned offers and alternative costs provisions
Smyth & Co in association with RPC
  • Litigation
  • Hong Kong
  • February 28 2017

Recent lower court cases in Hong Kong have clarified that a sanctioned offer which seeks to deprive a plaintiff of an entitlement to costs, if accepted in time, is not a properly constituted sanctioned offer in this context. Therefore, where such a sanctioned offer is not accepted and the plaintiff fails to better the offer at trial, the defendant (as offeror) should not expect to reap the costs and interest benefits that would otherwise normally follow under the relevant costs rules.

New Motor Liability Insurance Act enters into force
HPP Attorneys Ltd
  • Insurance
  • Finland
  • February 28 2017

The new Motor Liability Insurance Act recently entered into force. The previous act dated from 1959 and required complete reform and modernisation to respond to existing and future needs. The new act is structured to follow the typical chronology of the underwriting and claims-handling process and aims to promote competition by giving the insurance industry the opportunity to develop new products. This appears to be succeeding, as insurers have already launched new products.

Preparing for Brexit: top five considerations for franchisors in 2017
Fieldfisher LLP
  • Franchising
  • United Kingdom
  • February 28 2017

Recent events have given the first real insight into the Brexit process. Franchise businesses should start preparing for the potential impact of Brexit by auditing their IP rights in the European Union and assessing their key contractual relationships with suppliers and franchisees. Preparations for the General Data Protection Regulation should continue and a watchful eye should be kept on events as they unfold.

New covered bond framework based on minimum harmonisation principle
Hogan Lovells International LLP
  • Securitisation & Structured Finance
  • European Union
  • February 28 2017

The European Banking Authority recently published a report proposing a three-step approach to the harmonisation of covered bond frameworks in the European Union. The report summarises the functioning of – and developments in – national covered bond frameworks and provides recommendations which the European Commission will consider in the process of furthering the Capital Markets Union project.

Guidance on the "cardinal rule" for implying terms
RPC
  • Litigation
  • United Kingdom
  • February 28 2017

In a recent case the Court of Appeal held that a term could not be implied into an agreement because, although it was linguistically consistent, it was substantively inconsistent with the express terms. In doing so, the court shed further light on the application of the "cardinal rule" that an implied term must not contradict any of the express terms of the contract.

Law Society's misguided prosecution drives stern rebuke and adverse costs award
Dentons
  • Litigation
  • Canada
  • February 28 2017

The Law Society Tribunal Appeal Division recently ordered the Law Society of Upper Canada to pay C$1.3 million in costs to two lawyers who were cleared of conflict of interest allegations in relation to their work for various Hollinger entities. This decision will affect both the Law Society's approach to professional misconduct hearings and the Law Society Tribunal's approach to costs.

And so it begins… the 2017 shareholder spring
Squire Patton Boggs
  • Company & Commercial
  • United Kingdom
  • February 27 2017

In 2017 most FTSE100 companies will be putting their new remuneration policies to a shareholders' binding vote, against an increasingly hostile background of criticism of the size and complexity of directors' pay packages. There seem to be a lot of potentially conflicting issues, suggesting that there might be another interesting annual general meeting season ahead.

Bill S-5: preparing to introduce plain and standardised packaging for tobacco products
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Intellectual Property
  • Canada
  • February 27 2017

Bill S-5 recently passed the first of a three-reading process in the Senate. Key changes of particular interest to brand owners whose trademarks are in use in the marketplace include the repeal of provisions which allowed the use of a colouring agent to depict a trademark on a tobacco product and the addition of a section which prohibits the promotion of a tobacco product by using terms, expressions, logos, symbols or illustrations that are prohibited by the regulations.

Declaratory judgment on non-infringement: another choice for an alleged infringer
Lee and Li Attorneys at Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Taiwan
  • February 27 2017

Although an alleged infringer can lodge a cancellation action with the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) to invalidate the patent at issue, it normally takes more than one year for the TIPO to conduct an examination. Meanwhile, the alleged infringer is unable to clear its name. In such cases, the alleged infringer may consider filing a lawsuit with the IP Court against the patent owner, asking the court to grant a declaratory judgment.

Rebutting objections to inventiveness
Wan Hui Da - Peksung IP Group
  • Intellectual Property
  • China
  • February 27 2017

Recently, patent examiners at the State IP Office have been increasingly focused on patentability issues, especially inventiveness. In raising objections to inventiveness, examiners usually emphasise the obviousness of the claims. This trend poses new challenges to patent attorneys and applicants. In order to address inventiveness objections, practitioners may consider using various strategies.

Fictive ownership of copyright: rights of use under Copyright Contracts Act
AKD
  • Intellectual Property
  • Netherlands
  • February 27 2017

The Rotterdam District Court recently rendered its judgment in a matter between two parties that had jointly run a food truck. After having gone their separate ways, the food truck owner continued to operate the business. When the other party continued to use the business's name and logo, the food truck owner demanded that it cease to do so and commenced proceedings to that effect. This seemingly small case is noteworthy, as it demonstrates the consequences of copyright mismanagement.

Is arbitration possible under deep water block licensing contracts?
Ibáñez Parkman y Asociados SC
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Mexico
  • February 27 2017

In December 2015 the Ministry of Energy published the bidding guidelines for the fourth phase of the first round of tendering for the exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons in deep water blocks, which changed the prior model contract from a production sharing contract to a licensing contract. Following the recent bidding process, questions have arisen as to whether investors can settle disputes regarding termination of a contract for administrative reasons by way of arbitration.

OnDemand Opposition to energy projects
Kincaid | Mendes Vianna Advogados
  • Brazil
  • February 27 2017

While all kinds of energy project may face opposition to some extent, hydropower dams have proven to be the most contentious due to their environmental and social impact. In light of this, it is crucial for the government and stakeholders to ensure that specialists are fully heard regarding the viability and need for individual projects, in order to decide whether opposition is reasonable and to ensure that the country's best interests are fulfilled.

Domain name transferred under UDRP restored in absence of infringement
Hogan Lovells International LLP
  • Intellectual Property
  • France
  • February 27 2017

The Paris Court of Appeal recently ruled that a domain name that was transferred under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy had to be transferred back to its initial owner due to the absence of trademark infringement. The court stressed that it was insufficient for the allegedly infringing website merely to be accessible in France or the European Union.

Exchange of information with Austria
Andreas Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Corporate Tax
  • Cyprus
  • February 24 2017

The Tax Department recently issued guidance relating to the exchange of information with Austria under the EU Directive on the Mandatory Exchange of Information (2014/107/EC). As of January 1 2016, Cyprus must provide information on payments that fall within the scope of the directive made to Austrian residents in the same way that it does for payments made to residents of other EU member states.

IRS launches issue-based corporate compliance campaigns
Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered
  • Corporate Tax
  • USA
  • February 24 2017

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently launched its first wave of compliance campaigns. They cover a broad range of topics, including Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act partnerships, micro-captive insurance transactions, transfer pricing and repatriation of foreign earnings. This new issue-focused approach means that businesses dealing with any of the identified issues face increased IRS audit risk and should work with their legal advisers to prepare for IRS challenges to their positions.

Immigration Rules: changes to English language requirement
Magrath LLP
  • Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • February 24 2017

The Home Office recently introduced two changes to the English language requirement, applicable across the Immigration Rules. The requirements will affect those applying for entry clearance under the points-based system, as well as those who are in the United Kingdom (or will enter the United Kingdom) as a spouse or partner of a British national or settled person who extend their stay on or after May 1 2017.

Tax Authority clarifies new CFC rules
Studio Legale Tributario Biscozzi Nobili
  • Corporate Tax
  • Italy
  • February 24 2017

The Tax Authority recently issued Circular Letter 35/E, which clarifies Italy's controlled foreign companies (CFC) regime in light of recent changes under Budget Laws 190/2014 and 208/2015 and Decree-Law 147/2015. The black-list criteria provided for CFC purposes have been significantly revised and, if a CFC is deemed to exist, material clarifications have been provided with regard to the taxation of dividends paid which are – in principle – fully taxable in the hands of the Italian receiving company.

Debt recovery made faster, cheaper and more efficient? EAPOs and their implementation in Austria
Graf & Pitkowitz
  • Banking
  • Austria
  • February 24 2017

New almost EU-wide rules recently entered into force to support businesses in the recovery of debt from debtors in other EU countries. The regulation established a new procedure for creditors by providing common rules regarding jurisdiction and the procedure and conditions for freezing funds held by debtors in bank accounts located in the European Union. Austria has amended its Enforcement Code in order to provide the necessary framework for the procedures set out in the EU regulation.

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