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Economic duress and franchising: when does a threat not to enter into a contract amount to economic duress?
Fieldfisher LLP
  • Franchising
  • United Kingdom
  • 27 August 2019

In a recent case, the Court of Appeal considered whether a threat not to enter a contract could amount to economic duress, holding that it would not unless the threat was made in bad faith. While the decision provides useful and comforting guidance for franchisors, it also serves as a reminder to review contractual terms and processes and ensure that they are both robust and fair, as there is a fine line between protecting the integrity of the network and abusing a position of power.

Subpoena in aid of disciplinary challenge
RPC
  • Litigation
  • Hong Kong
  • 27 August 2019

The High Court has once again been asked to review its jurisdiction to grant permission to issue subpoenas directed at witnesses. In this case, the court granted permission to issue two subpoenas directed at two senior doctors, requiring them to give evidence (supported by specified documents) in aid of a registered dentist's court challenge arising out of disciplinary proceedings against him. The decision reiterates the relatively low threshold for the issue of subpoenas, while also illustrating their possible tactical use.

Notice givers take care – ignore contracts at your peril
RPC
  • Litigation
  • United Kingdom
  • 27 August 2019

The Court of Appeal recently confirmed that an objective test will be applied when assessing whether a unilateral contractual notice has been validly given. This decision is a helpful reminder that the finer details of contractual notice provisions are not mere technicalities; parties must remain aware of the fact that failure to comply with the mechanics of the notice provisions set out in a contract may have serious consequences.

Insurance, diamonds and fraud: court declines insured's appeal regarding fraudulent jewellers block claim
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Insurance
  • Israel
  • 27 August 2019

The Supreme Court recently declined an appeal filed by an insured and several companies controlled by him against the insurers Allianz Versicherungs, Menorah Mivtachim Insurance Company and HDI-Gerling Industrie Versicherungs. The insurers had argued and proved in the district court that the claim was fraudulent. The Supreme Court stated in the appeal that the factual basis determined by the district court was sufficient to conclude that the insured event had not occurred.

My Electricity – new PV programme introduced
Kubas Kos Gałkowski
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Poland
  • 26 August 2019

The prime minister and the minister of the environment recently presented a new programme called My Electricity, which aims to promote the use of photovoltaics. The introduction of My Electricity is one way to achieve the government's renewable energy target (ie, 15% of energy from renewable sources by 2020); however, additional programmes that support renewable energy production are needed.

'Spreading' a work under Dutch copyright law: the gift that should not have been given
AKD The Netherlands
  • Intellectual Property
  • Netherlands
  • 26 August 2019

Article 12 of the Copyright Act lists a number of acts that fall within the definition of 'disclosure to the public'. In addition to the more straightforward cases of disclosure, Article 12(1)(2) specifically stipulates that disclosure also includes verbreiding (translated in English as 'spreading') all or part of a work or a reproduction thereof where the work has not yet appeared in print. Although there is little case law on the act of spreading, the subject was recently debated in an Amsterdam Court of Appeal case.

Beijing High Court guidelines on administrative trademark cases come with surprises
Wanhuida Peksung IP Group
  • Intellectual Property
  • China
  • 26 August 2019

The Beijing High Court recently published an extensive set of guidelines on administrative trademark cases, which are divided into two parts: procedural issues and substantive matters. Although the guidelines clarify a number of matters (eg, the possibility of bringing an action against a ruling of the National Intellectual Property Administration when such ruling was remade in accordance with an effective court judgment), they contain a number of unpleasant surprises.

Two tests – problems in application
Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles
  • Intellectual Property
  • Philippines
  • 26 August 2019

The Supreme Court has repeatedly stated that there are no set rules to determine whether one trademark is confusingly similar to, or a colourable imitation of, another and that each case must be decided on its own merits. Nonetheless, over the years, the court has fashioned two tests (ie, the dominancy and holistic tests) to determine whether one mark infringes another. However, case law suggests that the court has applied these tests inconsistently and in contravention of the Intellectual Property Code.

Board gender diversity reaches new milestone
Cooley LLP
  • Company & Commercial
  • USA
  • 26 August 2019

A new milestone has finally been reached for board gender diversity: there are no longer any companies in the S&P 500 with all-male boards. According to a publication on US Board Diversity Trends in 2019, 45% of new board positions among the Russell 3000 were filled by women in 2019. This is up from 34% in 2018 and a substantial improvement compared with only 12% in 2008. Under the new law, public companies will be required to have at least one woman on their board of directors by the end of 2019.

CBDT clarifies assessment procedure for start-ups
BDO LLP
  • Corporate Tax
  • India
  • 23 August 2019

The Central Board of Direct Tax (CBDT) recently issued a circular clarifying the applicability of Section 56(2)(viib) of the Income Tax Act and the procedure that must be followed by tax officers in assessment proceedings. Although an attempt has been made to end the confusion created in the start-up community, uncertainty surrounding the legal basis for the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade and CBDT notifications regarding the applicability of Section 56(2)(viib) remains.

Privy Council determines extraterritorial reach of clawback claims in insolvency proceedings
Lennox Paton
  • Insolvency & Restructuring
  • Bahamas
  • 23 August 2019

The Privy Council has determined that, notwithstanding the absence of express statutory provisions permitting service out of the jurisdiction of fraudulent preference claims, such claims are to have extraterritorial effect. This decision clarifies the law as it relates to the extraterritorial effect of fraudulent preference claims; however, it also creates difficulties for subscribers to mutual funds that may be held liable for investments made on behalf of third-party beneficiaries that are the ultimate recipients of payments.

Trump announces 10% tariff on $300 billion of imports from China for List 4 goods
Arent Fox LLP
  • International Trade
  • USA
  • 23 August 2019

President Trump recently tweeted that, beginning on 1 September 2019, importers can expect a 10% tariff on $300 billion of Chinese goods. While the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) has yet to issue specific coverage for this new 10% tariff, importers should expect to see the goods subject to it on the proposed Section 301 List 4. The USTR has also indicated that a List 4 exclusion request process could come on the heels of the current List 3 exclusion request timetable.

New Telecommunications Act on horizon
Shay & Partners
  • Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media
  • Taiwan
  • 23 August 2019

The new Telecommunications Act, which enters into force in June 2022, will replace the conventional Type I and II telecom licence categories (ie, facility-based and service-based operators, respectively) which were adopted in 1996 with a more liberal approach and give the National Communications Commission more scope with regard to spectrum management and licensing.

Will the gift keep on giving? Office of Tax Simplification's inheritance tax review
Forsters LLP
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • United Kingdom
  • 22 August 2019

The Office of Tax Simplification recently published a report that made recommendations to the government to reform inheritance tax. The proposal that has received the most attention is the reduction of the period during which a lifetime gift remains subject to inheritance tax in the hands of the person making the gift (the donor) from seven to five years. A number of other changes have also been suggested – including in relation to agricultural property relief and business property relief.

Privy Council determines extraterritorial reach of clawback claims in insolvency proceedings
Lennox Paton
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Bahamas
  • 22 August 2019

The Privy Council has determined that, notwithstanding the absence of express statutory provisions permitting service out of the jurisdiction of fraudulent preference claims, such claims are to have extraterritorial effect. This decision clarifies the law as it relates to the extraterritorial effect of fraudulent preference claims; however, it also creates difficulties for subscribers to mutual funds that may be held liable for investments made on behalf of third-party beneficiaries that are the ultimate recipients of payments.

Court of Appeal confirms that discrimination because of perceived disability is unlawful
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Benefits
  • United Kingdom
  • 21 August 2019

The Court of Appeal recently found that it is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of a mistaken perception that they have a progressive condition which would make them unable to perform the full functions of a role in future. This decision confirms that the test is not whether the discriminator believes that the impairment meets the legal definition of 'disability', but whether they believe that it has those features. However, beyond this point, the case has raised some difficult issues.

Regulations will require hospitals to report adverse drug reactions and medical device incidents
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Canada
  • 21 August 2019

The Regulations Amending the Food and Drug Regulations (Serious Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting – Hospitals) and Regulations Amending the Medical Devices Regulations (Medical Device Incident Reporting — Hospitals) were recently published. The amendments were enacted further to Vanessa's Law and will require all hospitals to provide specific information relating to serious adverse drug reactions and medical device incidents within 30 days of first documenting the reaction or incident in the hospital.

Brexit's potential impact on shipping in Cyprus
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Cyprus
  • 21 August 2019

In an effort to minimise disruption to the shipping industry deriving from Brexit, the Shipping Deputy Ministry has undertaken a number of contingency measures. However, the ministry has emphasised that affected parties must also make their own preparations for the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union and that where new authorisations, licences or certificates will be required post-Brexit, each party will be responsible for applying in good time.

Haryana government makes compliance with Standing Orders Act mandatory for other registrations
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co
  • Employment & Benefits
  • India
  • 21 August 2019

The Haryana state government recently issued a notification under the Standing Orders Act and introduced a new requirement for principal employers and contractors to file an undertaking of compliance with the act. While the 2019 notification aims to ensure the effective enforcement of the act, employers may perceive the move to require compliance a condition precedent to obtaining registration under other labour laws as a roadblock.

Employment law considerations during mergers
Bloomfield Law
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Nigeria
  • 21 August 2019

Mergers are one way in which companies can increase their revenue and expand their business. However, along with these benefits, there are a number of risks associated with the merger of two or more businesses, including a loss of customers and key employees and business interruptions. This article discusses the challenges and practical realities of managing employees during a merger.

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