Latest updates

JallaXXXXXX: Coca-Cola accuses local soft drink maker of infringing SPRITE mark
Zacco
  • Intellectual Property
  • Norway
  • 17 December 2018

The Arabic word jalla, which means 'come on, hurry up', was introduced to the Norwegian language by soldiers who served with UN peacekeeping forces in the Middle East. In Norwegian, the word has come to mean 'gaudy' or 'outlandish', but it is also used to indicate that something is of low quality or below accepted or traditional standards. So how did this word become the subject of a trademark conflict between a local carbonated soft drink maker and international giant The Coca-Cola Company?

New draft bill on private sector whistleblowing
CMS von Erlach Poncet Ltd
  • White Collar Crime
  • Switzerland
  • 17 December 2018

The inadequacy of whistleblower protection in Switzerland has been widely criticised for years. Despite the legislation on public sector whistleblowing which was introduced in 2011, there is no concise legal framework specifically addressing respective issues in the private sector. To fill the gap, the Federal Counsel recently proposed a leaner and more understandable piece of legislation, which will be introduced into the section governing employment contracts in the Code of Obligations.

Climate proposal has implications for transport sector
  • Environment & Climate Change
  • Denmark
  • 17 December 2018

The Danish Energy Agency estimates that Denmark must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by between 32 million and 37 million tons by 2030 to reach its EU climate goals. To this end, the government recently published a new proposal regarding climate and air policy. The proposal contains 38 specific initiatives and mainly addresses the transport sector, agricultural production, shipping and green transitioning in housing and industry.

Novel approach to assessing similarity of services
Danubia Patent & Law Office LLC
  • Intellectual Property
  • Hungary
  • 17 December 2018

In a recent case, the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (HIPO) held that the services covered by two conflicting marks were not similar and granted the applied-for mark protection in Class 35. In this regard, the HIPO took a traditional approach, bearing in mind the marks' classification and examining only the services in Class 35, which were different. However, on review, the Metropolitan Tribunal took a different approach.

Dispenser for free newspapers – work of art?
Graf & Pitkowitz Rechtsanwälte GmbH
  • Intellectual Property
  • Austria
  • 17 December 2018

The Supreme Court recently set out clear principles regarding the protection of a work of visual art under the Copyright Act where technical functions played a role. In its decision, the court explained that the assessment as to whether a (visual) piece of work is actually protected by copyright must be assessed by the court as a legal issue only. There is no room to consider the opinion of experts or any other third parties.

Owner of unregistered well-known trademark granted Rmb3 million in damages for infringement
Wanhuida Peksung IP Group
  • Intellectual Property
  • China
  • 17 December 2018

In 2017 the Beijing IP Court rendered a groundbreaking decision by awarding the owner of an unregistered well-known trademark Rmb3 million in damages for infringement. According to the Trademark Law (2013 version), the owner of an unregistered trademark can prevent a third party from registering or using an identical or similar trademark on the same or similar goods. However, the law is silent as to whether the owner of such a mark can seek damages from third-party users.

Court allows Sanofi and Schering to plead that Federal Court ramipril patent invalidity decision was flawed
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Intellectual Property
  • Canada
  • 17 December 2018

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently overturned a motion judge's decision denying Sanofi and Schering leave to amend their defences to plead the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in AstraZeneca Canada Inc v Apotex Inc. The present action is one of several novel claims by Apotex seeking damages pursuant to the Ontario Statute of Monopolies and the UK Statute of Monopolies.

First round of competitive bidding for offshore exploration launched
Beretta Godoy
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Argentina
  • 17 December 2018

The government recently published Decree 872/2018, ordering the Secretariat of Energy to launch the first round of international competitive bidding for offshore exploration permits. Given Argentina's size and the potential for the discovery of new energy sources, the government aims to exploit its resources through effective investment in seismic surveys and hydrocarbon explorations in partnership with major oil and gas companies.

CAQ releases 2018 Audit Committee Transparency Barometer
Cooley LLP
  • Company & Commercial
  • USA
  • 17 December 2018

The Centre for Audit Quality (CAQ), working with Audit Analytics, recently released a new edition of its annual Audit Committee Transparency Barometer, which, over the past five years, has measured the robustness of audit committee disclosures in proxy statements among companies in the S&P Composite 1500. According to the CAQ, the bottom line is that the level of voluntary transparency has continued to increase steadily in most areas.

Federal Circuit holds that assignor estoppel not available in inter partes reviews
Venable LLP
  • Intellectual Property
  • USA
  • 17 December 2018

The Federal Circuit recently held that the assignor estoppel is not available in inter partes review proceedings. Assignor estoppel is a common law doctrine which prevents a party that assigns a patent to another party from later challenging the validity of the assigned patent. In a decision by Chief Judge Prost (joined by Judges Schall and Chen) the Federal Circuit held that the assignor estoppel is not available in inter partes reviews.

New coordinated network development plan introduced
Schoenherr Attorneys at Law
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Austria
  • 17 December 2018

In order to ensure that gas supplies are secure and to achieve a high level of capacity availability, the Gas Act requires the market area manager (MAM) to prepare an annual coordinated network development plan. The MAM recently submitted a draft version of the 2018 plan to E-Control. The latest plan ensures that, among other things, the supply of gas to end consumers is protected, the line capacity is considered and transport requirements are met.

Divided success in Sandoz's motion to strike monetary remedies and other novel claims
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Intellectual Property
  • Canada
  • 17 December 2018

A Federal Court order has issued on a motion to strike that was brought by Sandoz in four actions relating to the infringement of rituximab patents. The court declined to strike out the claims for damages and an accounting of profits on the basis that, at law, such remedies are unavailable in such an action. The court's treatment of the novel claims by Roche may be of interest to litigants under the current scheme of the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations.

DyStar secures destruction of patent-infringing dyes
Deris Attorney At Law Partnership
  • Intellectual Property
  • Turkey
  • 17 December 2018

DyStar recently succeeded in securing the destruction of 3.3 tons of textile dyes that had infringed one of its patents for reactive red dyes. The dyes were detained at the Mersin Free Zone following DyStar's customs application. This is the latest success in the company's anti-counterfeiting programme in Turkey, which has so far resulted in more than 100 tons of infringing products being seized.

New administration confirms suspension of bidding rounds
Hogan Lovells BSTL SC
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Mexico
  • 17 December 2018

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador recently confirmed that bidding rounds organised by the National Hydrocarbons Commission will be suspended for at least three years until the contracts awarded during the previous administration result in effective investment and, most importantly, new oil and gas production. The new president has further affirmed that production will be increased through additional investment in Pemex, which will ultimately result in the national oil company's rescue.

Good news for lenders? Further proposed amendments to doubtful debt provisions
Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr
  • Corporate Tax
  • South Africa
  • 14 December 2018

The National Treasury and the South African Revenue Service recently appeared before Parliament's Standing Committee on Finance to provide it with a further update regarding some of the proposals contained in the draft Taxation Laws Amendment Bill published earlier in 2018. These amendments will come into force once the bill has been passed by Parliament, signed by the president and published in the Government Gazette.

Implementation of EU directive on tax dispute resolution mechanisms
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Corporate Tax
  • Cyprus
  • 14 December 2018

The Cyprus Tax Department recently published for consultation draft legislation to implement the EU Tax Dispute Resolution Mechanisms Directive. The draft legislation comprises an amending law, which adds two new articles to the Income Tax Law 2002 and regulations to be issued under the second of those articles. The new law is intended to take effect from 1 July 2019.

New registration obligations for Swiss and foreign client advisers
Meyerlustenberger Lachenal
  • Banking
  • Switzerland
  • 14 December 2018

Parliament recently passed the bills of the new Financial Services Act and Financial Institution Act. These laws will have a significant impact on the Swiss banking and financial market landscape, as well as the applicable rules for providing banking and financial services both within and on a cross-border basis into Switzerland. This article provides a short overview of the new concept of 'client advisers' and the foreseeable implications of the new rules for banks and other financial service providers.

Rent control court rules on outstanding rent
George Z Georgiou & Associates LLC
  • Real Estate
  • Cyprus
  • 14 December 2018

The Nicosia Rent Control Court recently ruled on the outstanding rent of a statutory tenant. The court held that a provision for the increase of rent provided for in a tenancy agreement does not apply once the tenancy is converted into a statutory tenancy. However, by interpreting the terms of the tenancy agreement (which had been terminated in this case), the court concluded that it had not provided for an increase in rent during the first tenancy period.

Ministry of Public Security publishes rules on supervision and inspection of internet security
AnJie Law Firm
  • Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media
  • China
  • 14 December 2018

The Ministry of Public Security recently released the Provisions on the Supervision and Inspection of Internet Security by Public Security Organs. According to the provisions, public security organs must supervise and inspect internet service providers and network entity users that provide a range of internet-related services. They also list certain powers that public security organs may use when supervising and inspecting internet security on-site.

TFSA advantage tax: heads CRA wins, tails you lose
Thorsteinssons LLP
  • Corporate Tax
  • Canada
  • 14 December 2018

Earnings within tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs) and other tax-deferred plans are, in principle, supposed to grow tax free. However, some taxes still apply, including the advantage tax which applies at the rate of 100% of any 'advantage' (as defined in the Income Tax Act). This tax has become one of the Canada Revenue Agency's favourite tools to effectively expropriate what it views as improperly boosted returns within a TFSA.

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