Latest updates

Progress, but still much to do: update on smart systems and flexibility plan
CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • United Kingdom
  • 19 November 2018

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Ofgem recently released a progress update relating to their July 2017 joint paper "Upgrading Our Energy System: Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan". Among other things, the update discusses the steps that have been and remain to be taken to improve certainty over the treatment of storage in the current regulatory regime with the aim of providing further clarity for developers of storage facilities.

The Witcher author uses 'bestseller clause' to request additional remuneration
Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak
  • Intellectual Property
  • Poland
  • 19 November 2018

Andrzej Sapkowski, a well-known Polish writer and author of The Witcher fantasy saga, recently requested additional remuneration of at least Z60 million from CD Projekt for a video game based on his work. Following the game's worldwide success, Sapkowski claimed under Article 44 of the Copyright Act that the remuneration granted to him was too low relative to the benefits derived from the exploitation of his work.

Directors' duties: guidance from GC100
Squire Patton Boggs
  • Company & Commercial
  • United Kingdom
  • 19 November 2018

The Association of General Counsel and Company Secretaries working in UK FTSE 100 companies (GC100) has issued guidance on the practical interpretation of Section 172 of the Companies Act 2006. The GC100 guidance aims to provide directors with practical help in interpreting their Section 172 duties rather than offer legal advice, and sets out five specific things to help directors embed Section 172 into their decision making.

Beijing IP Court enlists jurors with technical expertise in patent administrative proceedings
Wanhuida Peksung IP Group
  • Intellectual Property
  • China
  • 19 November 2018

The Beijing IP Court handles a substantial number of cases each year. Despite a 90% increase in the number of concluded cases since 2015, the court remains under enormous pressure to reduce its case backlog, of which patent administrative cases account for a considerable proportion. In order to reduce this backlog, the court recently began enlisting technical investigators and jurors with technical expertise in court proceedings.

To patent or not to patent
  • Intellectual Property
  • 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.

Disputability of descriptiveness
Danubia Patent & Law Office LLC
  • Intellectual Property
  • Hungary
  • 19 November 2018

The Hungarian Intellectual Property Office recently refused to grant the word mark PAYSEND protection, holding that it is descriptive. However, the Metropolitan Tribunal disagreed, holding that the mark is a grammatically incorrect variation which does not in itself enable consumers to recognise the service which it designates. Rather, the mark comprises an invented word, which makes it distinctive.

Apotex not permitted to plead promise-based invalidity grounds in Section 8 lansoprazole action
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Intellectual Property
  • Canada
  • 19 November 2018

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently dismissed Apotex's motion to plead promise-based invalidity grounds in a Section 8 lansoprazole action. Apotex claimed damages for delay in the issuance of its notice of compliance for its generic lansoprazole product due to prohibition applications commenced by Abbott and Takeda. Abbott and Takeda had pleaded patent infringement as a defence and brought a counterclaim for patent infringement. Apotex in turn challenged the validity of Takeda's patents.

RES update – competitive procedures for FiP
Rokas Law Firm
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Greece
  • 19 November 2018

The new renewable energy sources state aid scheme was introduced in Greece in 2016 by way of Law 4414/2016. On 18 October 2018 the Regulatory Energy Agency launched the second regular competitive procedures for determining the reference prices of state aid for wind and solar energy producers in Greece, which offers a total tender capacity of 423 megawatts. The first regular competition procedures were conducted on 2 July 2018.

New Bill C-86 introduces many more changes to IP laws
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Intellectual Property
  • Canada
  • 19 November 2018

The government recently introduced Bill C-86. The changes introduced by the bill are in addition to the many amendments to the Trademarks Act and Patent Act yet to be brought into force. These changes represent continuing efforts by the government to update and modernise Canada's IP legislation and ensure that it is compliant with Canada's international obligations.

2019 Budget Law Proposal – implications for energy sector
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Portugal
  • 19 November 2018

The government recently presented its 2019 Budget Law Proposal, which includes several measures for the energy sector. As per the proposal, energy sector extraordinary contributions will be levied on generators operating renewable energy power plants licensed under the guaranteed remuneration scheme, which to date had been exempted from paying such contributions.

Ministry of Culture and Sports fines website owner €375,000 for copyright infringement
Grau & Angulo
  • Intellectual Property
  • Spain
  • 19 November 2018

The Ministry of Culture and Sports recently fined a website owner under the Consolidated Text of the IP Act for allowing users to download various copyrighted content from Spain. Although several similar websites had been taken down prior to this case, this was the first time that an economic fine of this magnitude was imposed. The main reason for this was that the administrative infringement in this case was classified as 'very severe'.

Formal requirements on agreements to amend real estate purchase contracts after conveyance
Noerr LLP
  • Real Estate
  • Germany
  • 16 November 2018

Federal Court of Justice case law suggests that the parties to a real estate purchase contract can in principle immediately change its content without having to comply with notarial form requirements after the notarial certification of the real estate purchase contract containing the conveyance has been concluded. The court's recent decision in this regard is to be welcomed in the interests of the continuity of its case law and in view of the lower courts' increasingly inconsistent case law in the past.

Iran sanctions are back in place: here's what you need to know
Arent Fox LLP
  • International Trade
  • USA
  • 16 November 2018

President Trump recently announced the United States' intention to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and re-impose secondary sanctions on Iran. The announcement was accompanied by wind-down periods during which non-US persons could wrap up transactions entered into prior to 8 May 2018. The final wind-down period recently expired and secondary sanctions were re-imposed on a broad swathe of Iranian persons and sectors of Iran's economy.

President Trump signs KIWI Act on non-immigrant treaty traders and investors
Fakhoury Global Immigration
  • Immigration
  • USA
  • 16 November 2018

The Knowledgeable Innovators and Worthy Investors (KIWI) Act was signed into law on 1 August 2018. The KIWI Act will allow eligible NZ nationals to enter the United States as non-immigrant traders and investors provided that New Zealand grants reciprocal treatment to US nationals.

SARS rules on tax treatment of customer loyalty programmes
Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr
  • Corporate Tax
  • South Africa
  • 16 November 2018

The South African Revenue Service recently published Binding Private Ruling 310, which deals with the tax treatment of customer loyalty programmes. The applicant was a local company supplying goods and services in the course of trade, which had – in order to enhance its business – proposed to implement a customer loyalty programme through which participating customers could benefit.

Taxation of standard software – an overview
AFDO-adv
  • Corporate Tax
  • Portugal
  • 16 November 2018

The Portuguese Tax Administration recently concluded that payments received for the sale of 'standard software' (ie, software not subject to any customisations) do not fall within the scope of Article 12 of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Model Convention. Instead, the right to tax income deriving from such payments falls within the purview of the beneficiary of such payments' state of residence under Article 7 (business income) of the OECD Model Convention.

Amendments to decree protecting value of Turkish currency in relation to foreign currency loans
Selvi & Ertekin
  • Banking
  • Turkey
  • 16 November 2018

The Council of Ministers recently amended Decree 32 on the Protection of the Value of Turkish Currency. The amending decree introduced strict restrictions on foreign currency loans obtained from overseas or in Turkey. The provision of foreign currency indexed loans to legal entities or real persons is now forbidden. However, legal entities which generate no foreign currency income but have credit exposure equal to or above €15 million may obtain foreign currency loans without limitation.

Federal Supreme Court decision on compensation due to limitation of secondary homes
Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law Ltd
  • Real Estate
  • Switzerland
  • 16 November 2018

The Federal Supreme Court recently addressed for the first time whether the prohibition to build secondary homes on private property entitles landowners to compensation. The court ruled on the consequences of the withdrawal of a previously established right through an amendment of the law and clarified that the concept of private property is not a fixed notion inaccessible to change. There is no entitlement to a permanent definition of the concept of private property.

SHCA criticises telecoms and internet companies for failing to improve network security
AnJie Law Firm
  • Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media
  • China
  • 16 November 2018

The Shanghai Communications Administration (SHCA) recently criticised four telecoms and internet companies for failing to improve their network security monitoring and forecasting systems and report important matters to the SHCA. The SHCA ordered the companies to rectify these failings and emphasised that telecoms and internet companies have a number of obligations in order to ensure the security and stability of Shanghai's public networks.

New updates on direct taxes
BDO in India
  • Corporate Tax
  • India
  • 16 November 2018

Alongside new guidance from the Central Board of Taxes regarding securities transaction tax, potential legislative amendments may be introduced regarding interest income on rupee denominated bonds. Further, the Chennai Tax Tribunal recently considered whether a tax officer had been correct in invoking Section 56(2)(viib) of the Income Tax Act, citing an unrealistic premium, in a case where a company had issued shares to one of its shareholders at a premium.

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