Latest updates

Court rejects preliminary attempt to enforce dockers' clause
AKD
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Netherlands
  • 23 September 2020

The effort to make lashing a cargo handling activity rather than a crew activity is set out in the so-called 'dockers' clause', contained in collective agreements covering some 15,000 seagoing vessels worldwide. A recent decision by the Rotterdam Court rejected the claimants' request to immediately prohibit lashing by seafarers in advance of the results of main proceedings. The court also raised the possibility that the clause could prove to be against the principles of reasonableness and fairness, as well as anti-competitive.

Parliament passes amendment to Equal Pay Law for Male and Female Workers
Fischer Behar Chen Well Orion & Co
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Israel
  • 23 September 2020

Parliament recently passed the Equal Pay Law for Male and Female Workers (Amendment 6) (5780-2020), which aims to prevent discrimination based on sex with respect to salary and other work-related benefits. The law is based on the presumption that female and male workers employed at the same workplace should receive equal pay for the same work or for substantially similar work and provides another tool to remedy the gender pay gap.

Face coverings and the workplace
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 23 September 2020

What health and safety obligations do employers have towards employees and visitors with regard to face coverings in the workplace? How should they enforce wearing face coverings if people refuse? And how should they protect employees from abusive customers or visitors? This article discusses the current rules regarding face coverings at work and some of the practical issues that may arise for employers.

Home office and mobile working
Mayer Brown
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Germany
  • 23 September 2020

In response to the health and safety risks resulting from a potential COVID-19 outbreak in the workplace, many employers moved to home office or mobile working arrangements earlier in 2020. For many companies, this has now proven to be a successful new way of working. This article describes the labour and employment law aspects of the implementation of home office and mobile working arrangements. It also includes a list of items that employers should consider when facilitating a remote work model.

Sickness benefit period extended for employees at higher risk of COVID-19
Norrbom Vinding
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Denmark
  • 23 September 2020

The government and parliamentary parties recently passed a bill to provide sickness benefits to employees who are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 or the relative of a person in the higher-risk group. The scheme originally applied to absences up to and including 31 August 2020, but the government and a majority in Parliament have now agreed to extend the scheme on the same terms up to and including 31 December 2020.

Proposal to maintain increased unemployment benefit throughout 2020
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Norway
  • 23 September 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has implemented several measures to secure jobs, boost the labour market and maintain stability for the workforce, including increasing the unemployment benefit. This temporary amendment originally applied until 31 October 2020. However, the government is set to propose a budget resolution before Parliament to extend the increased unemployment benefit to 31 December 2020.

Freight forwarder liable for depriving cargo interest possibility to declare general average
WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Denmark
  • 23 September 2020

A Danish court recently found a freight forwarder to be vicariously liable to a Danish company for fire damage caused to cargo carried by a subcontractor. The judgment suggests that a contracting carrier may incur liability where a general average situation is deemed to have occurred if it fails to provide information to its customer about the concrete circumstances that give rise to the general average situation, even when the contracting carrier holds no information about said circumstances.

Telehealth privacy issues due to COVID-19
Baker McKenzie
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • USA
  • 23 September 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant expansion in the need for telehealth, with as many patient visits as possible being conducted using telehealth platforms. As a result, healthcare providers must meet patient needs while at the same time meeting data protection regulatory requirements under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This video discusses the recent changes to the telehealth sector and what healthcare providers need to do to ensure that they comply with data regulations.

ICIBI calls for evidence on UKVI's commercial partners' performance
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 23 September 2020

Employers and other stakeholders have until 1 October 2020 to provide the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) with views on how well the commercial partners of UK Visas and Immigration are performing, both for applications made in the United Kingdom and abroad. The ICIBI is seeking evidence from stakeholders on whether commercial partners are meeting the needs of UK visa applicants.

What does 'market practice' entail? Court of Appeal rules on use of term in ISDA master agreement
RPC
  • Litigation
  • United Kingdom
  • 22 September 2020

The Court of Appeal recently held that 'market practice' is too wide a term to be implied into an International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) master agreement covering currency trading transactions by dismissing a claim arising from the 'de-pegging' of the Swiss franc from the euro. The desire to maintain the certainty and stability of the relationship between those contracting based on the ISDA master agreement underpinned the court's decision.

That's cold: insurer ordered to defend claims made against cold storage provider
Theall Group LLP
  • Insurance
  • Canada
  • 22 September 2020

The Alberta Court of Appeal has ordered an insurer to defend claims made against its insured's cold storage business, which was sued when its warehouse thawed and damaged its customer's food products. This case illustrates that it is important to always review a policy's specific words to determine what it covers rather than rely on received wisdom about what a policy typically covers.

Groundbreaking judgment will result in quicker refusal of Benelux trademark applications for descriptiveness
AKD
  • Litigation
  • International
  • 22 September 2020

The Benelux Court of Justice recently assessed whether the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) rightly refused the Benelux trademark PET'S BUDGET for being descriptive. The central question in this case was the criterion to assess whether a sign is descriptive. The implications of the case are groundbreaking since it will likely lead to quicker findings of signs or trademarks being descriptive and more refusals at the BOIP.

Surprise! Rescission notice can be served in a pleading
Lapointe Rosenstein Marchand Melançon LLP
  • Franchising
  • Canada
  • 22 September 2020

Ontario's Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure) requires franchisors to provide adequate pre-contractual disclosure to potential franchisees, failing which a franchisee may be entitled to rescind its franchise agreement. When properly invoked, rescission by a franchisee imposes extensive obligations on the franchisor. The Ontario Court of Appeal recently dealt with the issue of whether a notice of rescission of a franchise agreement is valid if it is contained within a pleading.

32nd offshore licensing round sees 113 licences awarded by OGA
CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • United Kingdom
  • 21 September 2020

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) recently announced its offer for the award of 113 licences over 259 blocks or part-blocks to 65 companies. Licences were awarded in the OGA's 32nd offshore licensing round, which was launched on 11 July 2019 and closed for applications on 12 November 2019. The 32nd round saw the offer of 768 blocks or part-blocks, with acreage on offer in the Central North Sea, the Northern North Sea, the Southern North Sea and the West of Shetlands.

Relaxing of Enforcement Rules of the Design Protection Act from September 2020
NAM & NAM
  • Intellectual Property
  • South Korea
  • 21 September 2020

Continuing the trend of relaxed requirements for design applications, the Enforcement Rules of the Design Protection Act have been further eased in several aspects. This article explains the changes which affect mixed drawing formats, font designs in the TrueType font format and further categories of design which will be eligible for partial examination from 1 December 2020.

Supreme Court eases path to profits recovery in Lanham Act cases
Venable LLP
  • Intellectual Property
  • USA
  • 21 September 2020

In April 2020 the Supreme Court ruled that a plaintiff in a Lanham Act trademark infringement case may recover a defendant's profits without having to prove that the defendant acted wilfully. This precedential decision makes it easier for plaintiffs to obtain monetary recovery for trademark violations and false advertising under the Lanham Act.

MCA temporarily allows virtual AGMs: help or hindrance?
Clasis Law
  • Corporate & Commercial
  • India
  • 21 September 2020

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic and continuing restrictions on the movement of individuals, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) recently issued a circular allowing companies to convene their annual general meeting (AGM) through videoconferencing or other audiovisual means (ie, electronically). With AGMs around the corner, it will be interesting to see how companies will hold virtual AGMs in practice and whether companies and their members will welcome the MCA's relaxations.

Generic trademarks and deceptive marketing practices: Competition Commission rejects genericism defence
Vellani & Vellani
  • Intellectual Property
  • Pakistan
  • 21 September 2020

Pursuant to a complaint of fraudulent use of a registered trademark, logo and packaging design, the Competition Commission initiated an inquiry into, and thereafter issued show cause notices to, two respondents for engaging in deceptive marketing practices under the Competition Act. Similarly, an inquiry was initiated against New Yorker Pizza for alleged deceptive marketing practices based on a complaint filed by The New York Pizza.

Joint handling of patent infringement claims and contractual claims in Swedish IP courts
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Intellectual Property
  • Sweden
  • 21 September 2020

In the Swedish legal system, the specialist IP courts handle patent infringement claims, while the general courts handle contractual claims. But such different claims can be combined and handled jointly by the specialist courts under certain circumstances. In a recent case, the Supreme Court clarified under which circumstances patent claims and such civil claims can be combined and handled jointly.

Guangzhou IP Court reaffirms legality of parallel imports
Wanhuida Intellectual Property
  • Intellectual Property
  • China
  • 21 September 2020

The Guangzhou IP Court recently upheld a first-instance judgment which had dismissed a trademark infringement claim against parallel imported products. The decision reaffirms the judicial practice that the import of non-counterfeit goods without the express permission of the trademark owner is not illegal in China, provided that the imported products comply with China's compulsory certification requirements and the importer does not modify, in any way, the imported product.

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