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Court of appeal finds EAR policy's defect exclusion clause unambiguous and straightforward
Zemberis, Markezinis, Lambrou & Associates
  • Insurance
  • Greece
  • 25 February 2020

Contract works policies contain exclusion clauses relating to the cost of rectifying defects in design, materials and workmanship, which offer rich grounds for disputes between underwriters and insureds. In a recent case, the Athenian civil courts had to decide whether the plaintiff was entitled to recover from its insurer part of the costs that it had incurred as a result of defective material being used in an underground communication construction project.

Franchisee defaults: when is it 'material' enough?
Lapointe Rosenstein Marchand Melançon LLP
  • Franchising
  • Canada
  • 25 February 2020

Few areas of contract law have created as much confusion as the nebulous distinction between material breaches, substantial breaches and breaches going to the root of the contract. This distinction is important in a franchise context, where franchise agreements often provide that the franchisor has a right to terminate the franchise agreement for material breach by the franchisee, leaving what constitutes a 'material' breach open for interpretation.

Public-private partnerships
Obeid Law Firm
  • Projects & Procurement
  • Lebanon
  • 25 February 2020

In 2017 Parliament passed Law 48 Regulating Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). The law aims to attract foreign direct investment and bring specific expertise to Lebanon. Further, it institutes a legal framework that is, to a certain extent, in line with international standards and presents no particular red flags. This article analyses the new legal framework for PPPs in Lebanon, the relevant authorities and the law's advantages and limitations and showcases PPP projects which are currently underway.

Supreme Court decision on bonds, securities litigation and damages
Bofill Escobar Silva Abogados
  • Litigation
  • Chile
  • 25 February 2020

The Supreme Court recently issued the final decision in a landmark securities case on damages in connection with bonds issued by a listed company in the retail industry. The ruling does not prevent the possibility of obtaining compensation by bondholders that have suffered losses in the securities market, but it does emphasise that in order to be compensable, damages must be certain according to general requirements of civil law.

Apex court finds controller of housing's powers to waive or modify provisions of statutory contract invalid
Gan Partnership
  • Litigation
  • Malaysia
  • 25 February 2020

The Federal Court recently delivered a landmark decision on a pertinent issue concerning the interests of house buyers. In arriving at its decision, the court considered Parliament's intention when enacting the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act and held that the minister of urban wellbeing, housing and local government has sole discretion to regulate and prohibit the terms and conditions of a contract of sale under the act – a social legislation protecting and advancing the interests of house buyers.

New government programme sets course for expansion of renewable energies
Schoenherr
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Austria
  • 24 February 2020

The new government composed of the Austrian People's Party and the Green Party recently presented the government programme for 2020 to 2024, which contains comprehensive measures to promote the expansion of renewable energies. Accordingly, the Renewable Energies Expansion Act, which has been planned for a long time and was drawn up under the penultimate government, is to be enacted as quickly as possible.

Court of Rome clarifies shareholders' rights
Grieco e Associati
  • Company & Commercial
  • Italy
  • 24 February 2020

The Court of Rome Companies Tribunal has set out an important principle concerning shareholders' rights regarding certain company decisions. The court granted an interim measure and consequently declared ineffective the resolution of a company's shareholders' meeting upon the request of a shareholder who claimed that the company's board of directors had failed to provide the shareholders with documents concerning a merger operation which would lead to a change of control over the company.

Supreme People's Court Honda OEM case: end of a long story?
Wanhuida Intellectual Property
  • Intellectual Property
  • China
  • 24 February 2020

When goods are manufactured in China by an original equipment manufacturer factory for export, the foreign buyer is not always the owner in China of the trademark that is affixed on the goods. But what if the trademark is registered in the name of a third party and such third party decides to sue the factory for infringement and stop the export of the goods? This is a long-debated question of which the courts have demonstrated different understandings.

New regulations on trading with natural resources
Lenz & Staehelin
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Switzerland
  • 24 February 2020

This article provides a non-exhaustive analysis of the legal situation regarding trading with natural resources in Switzerland, with a primary focus on new regulations and reference to foreign financial institutions. At the beginning of 2020, a new regulation came into force which also affected trading with natural resources. In general, trading in physical commodities does not require a licence, whereas trading in securities or derivatives on a commercial basis is subject to licensing requirements.

Five points to look out for when signing construction contracts governed by Swiss law
LALIVE
  • Construction
  • Switzerland
  • 24 February 2020

Swiss law is commonly used for construction contracts and is generally considered to be a safe option for good reason. But Swiss law does have some particularities that international parties might not expect. This article sets out five points that international parties should look out for when signing a Swiss law construction contract. With some forethought, parties can opt to contract out of these particularities or adequately address the allocation of risk that they entail.

Obtaining patent protection for software in Europe
GEVERS
  • Intellectual Property
  • European Union
  • 24 February 2020

Under the European Patent Convention, a computer program per se is not considered a patentable invention; rather, program listings per se are protected by copyright. However, in many cases, a computer program can be considered a technical solution to a technical problem and is thus patentable. For a European patent to be granted, applicants must show that this solution is novel and involves an inventive step with respect to prior art.

Cybersecurity in Japan: being aware of your business partners' risks
Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu
  • White Collar Crime
  • Japan
  • 24 February 2020

A recent high-profile theft of hard drives containing sensitive personal data has highlighted the need for Japan-based companies to ensure that their cybersecurity measures include processes for disposing of personal data that has been entrusted to them and reviewing their security controls regarding business partners who may come into contact with personal data. The case involved an employee at an IP recycling company who stole nearly 4,000 data storage devices that were destined for disposal.

International Patent Classification: one factor in determining whether motivation to combine multiple citations exists
Lee and Li Attorneys at Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Taiwan
  • 24 February 2020

According to the Patent Examination Guidelines, in order to determine whether a patent application can be easily accomplished by persons ordinarily skilled in the art in view of the citations, it is necessary to consider whether there is motivation to combine multiple citations. Further, such motivation depends on whether the multiple citations are relevant or common in their technical contents.

Update on DEPA privatisation
Rokas Law Firm
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Greece
  • 24 February 2020

Under the new law on the liberalisation of the energy market, the Public Natural Gas Company (DEPA) will be spun off into three distinct undertakings: DEPA Infrastructure, DEPA Commercial and DEPA International Projects. The privatisation tender is organised by the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund. Parties intending to participate in the tender are requested to meet various legal, financial and technical requirements.

New opportunities for renewable energy: Austrian government programme 2020 to 2024
Schoenherr
  • Environment & Climate Change
  • Austria
  • 24 February 2020

Austria's new coalition government consisting of the People's Party and the Green Party recently published its programme for the legislative period 2020 to 2024. The programme is called Taking Responsibility for Austria and should make Austria a pioneer in climate protection. The Paris Agreement climate targets are to be met at all costs, while the Climate Protection Act should ensure that Austria does not exceed its CO2 budget.

Court sides with importer in not paying duties on royalties
Arent Fox LLP
  • International Trade
  • USA
  • 21 February 2020

An importer of Giorgio Armani apparel recently secured a victory in the Court of International Trade in its dispute with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The case considered whether the importer was required under US customs laws to pay duties on advertising fees and trademark royalty fees as part of the value of the goods declared to CBP.

Maximum pressure squared: Trump turns up Iran sanctions amplifier
Arent Fox LLP
  • International Trade
  • USA
  • 21 February 2020

President Trump recently issued Executive Order 13902, which places additional large swaths of the Iranian economy – and those outside Iran which support it – in the crosshairs of US sanctions. Third-country companies doing business with Iran's construction, mining, manufacturing or textiles sectors are now at greater risk of being sanctioned.

Public consultation on techno-finance sandbox launched
Legance – Avvocati Associati
  • Banking
  • Italy
  • 21 February 2020

The Ministry of Economy and Finance recently launched a public consultation process on a draft decree setting out the rules for a fintech sector regulatory sandbox. The draft decree aims to promote technological innovation by allowing fintech companies to test new IT services and products in the financial, credit and insurance sectors under the supervision of the competent authorities for a limited period.

Online harms: government publishes response to consultation on proposals for internet regulation
Bird & Bird LLP
  • Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media
  • United Kingdom
  • 21 February 2020

The government recently published its initial response to the public consultation on the Online Harms White Paper, in the first substantive update since its publication in April 2019. The consultation response is described as an indication of the direction of travel and it is clear that the policy development process is at an early stage. Certain things have been clarified, while much remains up for grabs. The government's full response to the consultation is expected in Spring 2020.

Macau responds to regulatory trends with new Cybersecurity Law
Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Advogados
  • Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media
  • Macau
  • 21 February 2020

In June 2019 the Legislative Assembly of the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) enacted the Cybersecurity Law. Prior to this, no legislation covered cybersecurity issues in the Macau SAR. As such, this new law reflects the region's efforts to respond to the latest regulatory trends regarding privacy and security and establish a legal regime for such matters. The main purpose of the law is to protect the networks, systems and data of critical infrastructure operators of the Macau SAR.

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