International updates

Energy & Natural Resources

Unchartered waters – sovereign risk in deep seabed mining
  • International
  • 08 October 2018

The deep seabed mining (DSM) industry is growing rapidly, expanding beyond national jurisdiction and onto the high seas. The legal framework governing the DSM industry is unique and continues to evolve. While the opportunities in this territory – much of it literally uncharted – are hard to overstate, with a new and evolving legal regime comes special risks. While securing project finance for DSM projects is already challenging for technical and operational reasons, sovereign risk is another major factor.


Franchising

Joint venture franchises: the whys and wherefores
Fieldfisher LLP
  • International
  • 21 August 2018

Franchising provides a flexible model for growth or re-engineering, with a variety of structures to meet different needs. Of all of the structures, the joint venture franchise is the least understood and most likely to cause difficulties if not structured correctly. In order to understand why this is so, it is necessary to consider the rationale for using the joint venture model and the manner in which such a relationship should be structured.


Intellectual Property

Plausibility: new patentability requirement?
Becerril Coca & Becerril SC
  • International
  • 21 October 2019

The concept of plausibility has emerged in numerous prosecution cases in recent years, with global trends suggesting a shift towards treating it as an additional, standalone patentability requirement. However, some commentators have argued that plausibility should not be considered an independent patentability condition due to, among other things, the different criteria for evaluating plausibility.

Crowdsourcing and IP considerations
KISCH IP
  • International
  • 21 January 2019

Crowdsourcing can be an exciting and cost-effective way for businesses not only to keep up with the latest consumer trends and preferences, but also to maintain a competitive edge in their existing market and beyond. However, ideas crowdsourcing may also expose businesses to IP risks. An idea or concept that is not properly managed may cause more harm than good to product and services R&D efforts. Therefore, it is crucial to have proper IP protection in place before undertaking crowdsourcing activities.

To patent or not to patent
KISCH IP
  • International
  • 19 November 2018

Patent professionals often wonder whether to patent an invention or keep it confidential and hope that a third party does not copy it. As patents are a powerful commercial asset which may be licensed, sold, assigned or form the subject matter of a hypothec, the risk of having an invention reverse-engineered and freely copied must be carefully weighed against the controlled disclosure of the invention and the monopoly which issues from a granted patent.

New milestone for Benelux Convention on Intellectual Property
ALTIUS
  • International
  • 24 September 2018

The long-awaited amendments to the Benelux Convention on Intellectual Property recently entered into force. The convention offers broader protection to reputed trademarks in opposition proceedings. In addition, an administrative procedure for invalidation and revocation before the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) is now available and the Benelux Court of Justice has become the sole jurisdiction for appeals against BOIP decisions.

Preparing an IP portfolio for due diligence
  • International
  • 28 May 2018

The best way for a company to prepare for due diligence is through long-term measures: develop an IP strategy, implement it and maintain a record of the portfolio's status at all times. This should be done with the long-term goal of building value that will be identified and appreciated by a potential investor and reflected in a favourable due diligence report.


International Trade

We have a deal! USTR publishes US-Mexico-Canada Agreement slated to replace NAFTA
Arent Fox LLP
  • International
  • 12 October 2018

Following weeks of negotiations, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has published the agreed text of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which is slated to replace the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement with what the parties have called "a 21st century, high-standard agreement". While the USMCA text has answered many questions, a number of issues will need to be fleshed out during the implementation phase.


Private Client & Offshore Services

Is it time to consider blockchain-based trusts?
Forsters LLP
  • International
  • 30 May 2019

With the slow but inexorable process of tokenisation, whereby real-world assets are moved onto blockchains and represented by tokens, it is only a matter of time before trust practitioners will need to look at blockchain-based trusts or 'smart trusts'. However, the beauty of the modern trust is its flexibility and the beauty of blockchain is its pre-programmability and immutability. Can these two worlds really come together?