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Save money: file your multi-class applications now
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Intellectual Property
  • Canada
  • 25 March 2019

Canadian trademark law will be overhauled on 17 June 2019, with many significant changes – both procedural and substantive – coming into effect. This article discusses the important strategies to consider before these changes take effect, including tips that could save time and money now and in future.

Barcelona Court of Appeal confirms validity and infringement of Nescafé Dolce Gusto patents
Grau & Angulo
  • Intellectual Property
  • Spain
  • 25 March 2019

The Barcelona Court of Appeal recently confirmed the Barcelona Commercial Court Number 5 decision which had declared two Nestlé patents to be valid and infringed by Fast Eurocafé SA. Considering the importance of the Nescafé Dolce Gusto system for Nestlé and the increased interest among competitors in commercialising compatible capsules, this judgment is of paramount importance.

Sober outcome for brandy manufacturer found guilty of infringing 3D trademark
Wanhuida Peksung IP Group
  • Intellectual Property
  • China
  • 25 March 2019

The Ouhai District People's Court in Wenzhou recently affirmed the significance of taking a global view when assessing the similarities between an allegedly infringing product and a 3D trademark. The dispute at issue was between Martell, one of the world's oldest cognac houses, and the Chinese manufacturer of Louis Baron XO brandy, the bottle of which was almost identical to Martell's 3D trademark.

UKIPO considers distinctiveness of OKAYEST for consumer products
Taylor Wessing
  • Intellectual Property
  • United Kingdom
  • 25 March 2019

In 2016 McMug Ltd successfully filed a UK trademark application for the mark OKAYEST for a number of products, including beer mugs, chinaware and flasks. However, AMC Photographics Limited challenged the mark's validity on the grounds that, among other things, it was devoid of distinctive character and was a wholly descriptive dictionary word (a superlative of okay). This case is a useful reminder that, even after registration, a mark can be challenged on the grounds of non-distinctiveness and descriptiveness.

Overview of trademark legislation
KISCH IP
  • Intellectual Property
  • South Africa
  • 25 March 2019

Trademarks are a company's most valuable asset. Over time, they can appreciate in value and as a company's reputation grows, so too will the value of its trademarks. This article provides an overview of South Africa's trademark legislation and serves as a useful guide on, among other things, the trademark application procedure, buying and selling trademarks and company or close corporation name protection.

Who owns a mark used by multiple business parties?
Danubia Patent and Law Office LLC
  • Intellectual Property
  • Hungary
  • 25 March 2019

In a recent dispute between the inventor and marketer of a food supplement gel, the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office, the Metropolitan Tribunal and the Metropolitan Court of Appeal had to determine the true owner of the associated word and device marks. Using EU case law as a guide, they considered the market situation, including the knowledge of consumers, and applied the principle of registration and the rule of good faith.

Enforcing board members' information rights
Badertscher Attorneys at Law
  • Company & Commercial
  • Switzerland
  • 25 March 2019

The Federal Supreme Court recently considered – for the first time – whether board members' rights to information, inspection and insight can also be asserted on an appeal basis. The court also commented on the type of procedure applicable in such cases. This decision should be taken into account by board members who lack evidence or knowledge of important or necessary information, particularly if it relates to the organisation of or disputed relationships within the board of directors.

New film production support scheme launched
  • Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media
  • Poland
  • 22 March 2019

Under a new financial support scheme, the Polish Film Institute will now offer cash rebates as a form of support for the production of feature films, documentaries, animated films and TV series. The general aims of the scheme are to assist the audiovisual market, attract foreign capital, support the production of films in Poland and promote the country and its cultural heritage abroad.

Virtual currencies – EU legal overview
  • Banking
  • European Union
  • 22 March 2019

Virtual currencies have been analysed and considered by numerous policymakers at the EU level. According to the European Central Bank, the legal definition of 'virtual currencies' tends to vary depending on the context, while the European Banking Authority defines them as a digital representation of value that is neither issued by a central bank or public authority nor necessarily attached to a fiat currency, but used as a means of exchange and transferred, stored or traded electronically.

Anomalies arising from value-shifting rules
Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr
  • Corporate Tax
  • South Africa
  • 22 March 2019

The Taxation Laws Amendment Act introduced a new section into the Income Tax Act which deals with value mismatches involving the transfer of assets in exchange for the issue of shares. Essentially, the section applies where the value of the asset given in consideration for the shares issued is different from what it would have been had the transaction been between independent persons acting at arm's length.

Statement of changes to immigration rules – implications for Tier 1 (Investor) visa applicants and holders
  • Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 22 March 2019

The Home Office recently released its statement of changes setting out proposed changes to UK immigration rules. The statement contains the long-awaited details of changes to the Tier 1 (Investor) visa, which were announced in December 2018 shortly after the Home Office backtracked from its announcement that the visa was about to be suspended. The proposed changes are significant and clarity is needed with regard to the application of the transitional rules.

New banking regulation: temporary measures in event of hard Brexit
Legance Avvocati Associati
  • Banking
  • Italy
  • 22 March 2019

The Ministry of Economy and Finance recently published a press release announcing the measures which the Italian government, in close consultation with the regulatory authorities and following discussions with trade associations, intends to take in order to avoid a hard Brexit having a cliff-edge effect on financial activities. During the transitional period provided by the temporary measures, banking intermediaries will be able to continue to operate according to existing laws and regulations.

New Bank Indonesia regulation on prudential rules for offshore debt and FX-denominated liabilities
Ali Budiardjo, Nugroho, Reksodiputro
  • Banking
  • Indonesia
  • 22 March 2019

Bank Indonesia recently issued an umbrella regulation on the application of prudential norms. As with the now revoked Regulation on Offshore Loans in the Banking Sector (as amended), Regulation 21 stresses the importance of compliance with prudential norms for maintaining macroeconomic and financial system stability. However, while the previous regulation's scope was confined to offshore bank loans, Regulation 21 encompasses "offshore bank debt and FX-denominated other bank liabilities".

Financial distress and board of directors' liabilities
  • Insolvency & Restructuring
  • Turkey
  • 22 March 2019

Pursuant to Article 376/3 of the Commercial Code, where there are signs that a company is in financial distress, its board of directors should prepare an interim balance sheet. If the balance sheet verifies that the company is in financial distress, the board should notify the first-instance commercial court where the company is headquartered and request a bankruptcy declaration. Directors of boards which fail to follow these steps could be held civilly or criminally liable.

Excessive fines deemed unconstitutional in landmark Supreme Court of Justice declaration
Hogan Lovells BSTL SC
  • Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media
  • Mexico
  • 22 March 2019

The Supreme Court of Justice recently declared that an article of the Federal Telecommunications and Broadcasting Law – which provided that the minimum fine for any violation of the law not otherwise expressly penalised in another law was 1% of the offender's annual income – to be unconstitutional. This declaration may signal that the court intends to participate more regularly in shaping Mexico's legal framework in order to rectify deficiencies created by Congress.

Financial inclusion: Central Bank of Nigeria introduces payment service banks
Aluko and Oyebode
  • Banking
  • Nigeria
  • 22 March 2019

In a bid to promote a sound financial system and enhance access to financial services for low-income earners and the unbanked segments of the Nigerian population, the Central Bank of Nigeria recently issued the Guidelines for Licensing and Regulation of Payment Service Banks (PSBs) in Nigeria. The main objective of establishing PSBs is to enable high-volume, low-value transactions in remittance, micro-saving and withdrawal services in a secured technology-driven environment.

Cable TV operators battle media on demand
Shay & Partners
  • Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media
  • Taiwan
  • 22 March 2019

The National Communications Commission (NCC) recently authorised Chunghwa Telecom, the largest telecoms operator in Taiwan, to use aggregate channels for its media-on-demand service. Unsurprisingly, local cable TV operators have protested the NCC's one-sided decision and demanded the same liberalised regulations. While the future of cable TV in Taiwan remains uncertain, over-the-top media services such as Netflix may be the only way to resurrect pay TV businesses.

Competition office fines Booking.com €0.33 million
Schoenherr Attorneys at Law
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Czech Republic
  • 21 March 2019

The Office for the Protection of Economic Competition recently reviewed vertical aspects of online platforms and distribution channels, ultimately fining online booking platform Booking.com approximately €330,000 for using most-favoured-nation (MFN) clauses in its contracts with hotels. Although the decision has not yet been published, it is hoped that it will be instructive in terms of how the office examines the conditions under which MFN clauses may be considered anti-competitive.

Supreme Court of Cassation rules on nullity of arbitral award for late delivery of decision
Mariconda e Associati Studio Legale
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Italy
  • 21 March 2019

The Supreme Court of Cassation recently found that parties alleging nullity of an arbitral award for the late delivery of the decision must notify the other parties and arbitrators before the award's deliberation pursuant to the Code of Civil Procedure. The decision strongly reaffirms a general principle of primary importance regarding arbitration under the code.

Commercial Court provides welcome guidance on Norwich Pharmacal relief in aid of foreign proceedings
Harneys
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • British Virgin Islands
  • 21 March 2019

In a recent ex tempore judgment, the BVI Commercial Court's power to grant Norwich Pharmacal disclosure orders in support of foreign proceedings was clarified. The judgment was given on a successful application for Norwich Pharmacal relief to assist Brazilian clients in bringing claims for the recovery of misappropriated assets. The decision confirms the British Virgin Islands as a particularly helpful jurisdiction in the fight against international fraud and the recovery of misappropriated assets.

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