Latest updates

In the public interest? Attorney general receives backlash for confirmation appearance
Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe & Belgore
  • White Collar Crime
  • Nigeria
  • 16 September 2019

During Federal Attorney General Abubakar Malami's recent confirmation appearance before the Senate he was asked why the administration had failed to comply with court orders and responded that they were not in the public interest. Although heavily criticised, Malami's statements are unsurprising, given how he used Executive Order 6 in his first term to indiscriminately prevent persons not accused of wrongdoing from accessing bank accounts without recourse to the courts.

Countdown begins: getting ready for new patented medicines pricing regime
Smart & Biggar
  • Intellectual Property
  • Canada
  • 16 September 2019

The long-awaited amendments to the Patented Medicines Regulations were recently published in Part II of the Canada Gazette. Major changes include the introduction of three new price regulatory factors and a revised schedule of reference countries. Although the new law will not be in force until 1 July 2020, there are immediate implications.

Plant inventions and patent eligibility trends
Becerril Coca & Becerril SC
  • Intellectual Property
  • Mexico
  • 16 September 2019

The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property's examination criteria was previously consistent enough to provide patent applicants with legal certainty about the eligibility of plant-related inventions. However, recent changes to the criteria for these kinds of invention have resulted in uncertainty which may affect even the validity of already granted patents.

Who takes the cake? Copyright over baked goods
KISCH IP
  • Intellectual Property
  • South Africa
  • 16 September 2019

Professional and amateur bakers are often inspired by the extravagant and intricately designed cakes shown on TV shows. However, this begs the question of whether bakers can reproduce these cakes (or at least try to) without getting into trouble. Perhaps surprisingly, the answer is probably no, as these creations may be subject to copyright protection. Therefore, as with all copyright infringement, it is important to be cautious when taking inspiration from other people's creations.

Offshore wind extension round: seven projects progress through plan-level HRA
CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • United Kingdom
  • 16 September 2019

​The Crown Estate has confirmed that seven offshore wind extension projects will progress to the award of rights following the completion of its plan-level Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA). Project-specific environmental assessments will be required for each site before the developers seek planning consents under the statutory planning process. Importantly, the plan-level HRA identifies mitigation measures that will be secured.

Vultures circling as bill to expand CFCA to tax looms in legislature
McDermott Will & Emery
  • Corporate Tax
  • USA
  • 13 September 2019

Legislators in Sacramento are mulling over one of the most (if not the most) troubling state and local tax bills of the past decade. AB 1270, which was recently introduced and passed by the California Assembly in May 2019, would amend the California False Claims Act to remove the 'tax bar' – a prohibition that exists in the federal False Claims Act and the vast majority of states with similar laws.

General Anti-avoidance Rule – a pivotal development
BDO LLP
  • Corporate Tax
  • India
  • 13 September 2019

In an attempt to curb tax evasion and avoid tax leakage, the government introduced the General Anti-avoidance Rule (GAAR), which took effect from April 2017. Following the introduction of the GAAR, businesses have had to revisit and revalidate their transactions. Further, as there are a number of potential issues that may be faced by taxpayers, they must observe the types of transaction that are likely to be affected.

Supreme Court holds government cannot seek preference while seeking stay on enforcement
Khaitan & Co
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • India
  • 12 September 2019

The Supreme Court recently considered whether an unconditional stay can be granted under Section 36 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 when the applicant is the government. The court rightly held that the safeguards which were incorporated for the Crown by Order 27, Rule 8A of the Code of Civil Procedure are now inapplicable and outdated, especially as the purpose and intent of alternate dispute resolution is to treat parties equally.

UK competition authority continues to penalise individuals for competition law infringements
Gowling WLG
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • United Kingdom
  • 12 September 2019

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently publicised the disqualification of three individuals from acting as directors as a consequence of their company's involvement in an infringement of UK competition law. In view of the CMA's commitment to enforcement actions and to ensuring that directors are held personally responsible for competition law compliance, individuals and organisations should, among other things, proactively consider the extent of any potential exposure that they may face.

CCI finds no evidence of resale price maintenance in sale of Kaff appliances on Snapdeal
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • India
  • 12 September 2019

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has dismissed allegations of resale price maintenance against Kaff Appliances (India) Pvt Ltd under Section 26(6) of the Competition Act 2002. The CCI noted that it could not conclusively establish that the evidence (ie, an email, a caution notice and a legal notice) had been used as instruments to impose a resale price maintenance on the informant. Further, the presence of many competing dealers suggested a fair degree of intra-brand competition.

Why is a change to allergen labelling laws necessary and what will happen next?
Burges Salmon LLP
  • Product Regulation & Liability
  • United Kingdom
  • 12 September 2019

The government recently announced that food businesses will soon be required to provide full ingredient labelling on foods which are pre-packed for direct sale. Such products will also need to clearly state whether their ingredients include any of the 14 declarable allergens. This will benefit all consumers with allergies, who will be able to clearly see from the label whether a pre-packaged product contains any of the declarable allergens, regardless of where the product was prepared and packaged.

Updates to guidance documents: what you need to know
Smart & Biggar
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Canada
  • 11 September 2019

Health Canada recently released a revised Guidance Document: Administrative Processing of Submissions and Applications Involving Human or Disinfectant Drugs, which is effective immediately. The revisions include clarifying additions on the requirements for cross-licensed products for an administrative certification form and letter of authorisation, a drug notification form and labelling. Health Canada also recently released an updated Good Label and Package Practices Guide for Prescription Drugs.

Fertility preservation and dementia prevention covered by compulsory healthcare insurance
Walder Wyss
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Switzerland
  • 11 September 2019

​The Federal Department of Home Affairs recently decided that measures to preserve the fertility of people suffering from cancer will now be covered by compulsory health insurance. Under the new measures, if cancer patients run the risk that a planned treatment will lead to impaired ovarian or testicular function, sperm, egg cells or ovarian tissue can be frozen (so-called 'cryopreservation') and reused after therapy. Cerebrospinal fluid analyses for diagnosing dementia will also be covered.

National Labour Inspectorate specifies scope of penalties for irregular posting of employees
Stanchi Studio Legale
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Italy
  • 11 September 2019

The posting of employees from an EU country to Italy must comply with Legislative Decree 136/2016. The law applies to companies established in EU member states which, in the context of the provision of services, post to Italy one or more employees in favour of another company, including those belonging to the same group, another production unit or another recipient, on the condition that during the posting, an employment relationship continues to exist with the posted employee.

Tribunal of Genoa examines jurisdiction issue in pre-trial proceedings regarding court surveyor's appointment
Dardani Studio Legale
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Italy
  • 11 September 2019

A recent Tribunal of Genoa case concerning a yacht lost during carriage examined whether the Italian courts have jurisdiction to appoint court surveyors and order survey operations to take place in Italy where the merits of a dispute are not subject to Italian jurisdiction. According to the tribunal, the fact that the merits of the dispute in question were to be decided in London did not deprive the Italian courts' jurisdiction to order inspection and survey operations on goods located in Italy.

Court rules EU Flight Delay Compensation Regulation claim cannot be enforced as breach of contract
Bersenas Jacobsen Chouest Thomson Blackburn LLP
  • Aviation
  • Canada
  • 11 September 2019

A recent decision from the Ontario Small Claims Court marks the first time that a Canadian court has considered whether EU air passenger rights legislation can be enforced outside Europe. This decision will be of interest to carriers operating flights between Canada and Europe, as it holds that a tariff that does not expressly incorporate the EU Flight Delay Compensation Regulation will not expose a carrier to breach of contract claims brought in Canada for declining to pay compensation under the regulation.

Revised Federal Act on Gender Equality – effective enforcement instrument for equal pay?
Rihm Rechtsanwälte
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Switzerland
  • 11 September 2019

Since 1981, the Federal Constitution has guaranteed equal wages for men and women who carry out similar work; however, a wage disparity exists that arguably cannot be explained by anything other than gender. The revised Federal Act on Gender Equality, which enters into force on 1 July 2020, aims to remedy this situation. Under the new regime, companies with 100 or more employees will be obliged to carry out an internal wage equality analysis every four years to identify any gender pay gaps.

Canada releases final amendments to patented medicines pricing regulations
Smart & Biggar
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Canada
  • 11 September 2019

Health Canada recently announced the final amendments to the Patented Medicines Regulations. The amendments – which represent the first substantive revision to the regulations since their introduction in 1987 – are a significant departure from the existing framework and include new price regulatory factors, updated reference countries and changes in reporting requirements.

Employer liable for customer's sexual harassment of employee
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Norway
  • 11 September 2019

A recent district court ruling demonstrates that an employer can be liable for a customer's sexual harassment towards an employee. The ruling shows that, as a minimum, employers should perform a risk analysis of and have a zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment, have guidelines on sexual harassment matters and immediately address sexual harassment situations if they occur.

Medicare Advantage providers pay $5 million to settle False Claims Act allegations
Sidley Austin LLP
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • USA
  • 11 September 2019

Beaver Medical Group LP and an affiliated physician recently agreed to pay a combined total of $5 million to resolve allegations that providers had knowingly submitted diagnosis codes that were not supported by medical records in order to inflate reimbursements from Medicare. The settlement reflects the Department of Justice's continuing efforts to use its enforcement power to pursue fraud in the Medicare Advantage space despite recent setbacks.

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