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Design applications in China from June 1, 2021 onwards

From June 1, 2021 onwards, design applications in China will be subject to the new Chinese patent law. From this date onwards, design applications at the Chinese Patent Office will also be possible for parts of designs. This new possibility is one of the most important aspects of the newly reformed Chinese patent law, as it harmonizes Chinese design regulations with European and US design law as well as the international practice of design registrations.

Protection of parts of designs was up to now, unlike the usual international practice, not possible. In the past, Chinese patent law only allowed the registration of designs as whole entities in connection with usable and purchasable products. The current reform of the Chinese patent law with regard to design applications is hence a most welcome harmonization with European and international standards. It remains to be seen if drawings according to these standards will be equally accepted by the CNIPA.

Another important novelty in view of the international protection of designs is the fact that the term of protection is prolonged from previously 10 to now 15 years. Which is, of course, most welcome but still 10 years less than the maximum protection of designs at the European Union Intellectual Property Office.

Also visit the following link: https://english.cnipa.gov.cn/

Meti Ketner joins Leaders in Law as the exclusive Intellectual Property Law member in Slovenia

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Meti Ketner as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Intellectual Property Law expert in Slovenia. Meti’s office is located in Ljubljana.

Meti Ketner is a passionate and innovative lawyer and a businesswoman, European Trademark and Design Attorney, the CEO and the founder of KETNER® Ltd. which is constantly progressing and expanding and following the key trends of Intellectual Property Protection to which clients can rely on.

Meti Ketner is aware that the Intellectual Property Protection sector is constantly evolving. Ideas of the future are already changing the present moment. She is very proud to show the world the intellectual capacity of Slovenia – the rising star of this world.

Prior to practicing law in her own company, Meti Ketner was working for the larger Slovenian professional legal offices and also for institutions of public importance and in the frame of international projects of great importance for Slovenia. Meti Ketner strives for success working together with the team of highly-qualified experts by doing the best for their clients. To maintain its strong market position KETNER® is reflecting its strength.

If you require any assistance in this area, please use the contact details provided in Meti’s profile below or contact us at info@leaders-in-law.com & we will put you in touch.

Brexit And Italian Social Safety Nets

Brexit had a first phase with the agreement called the Withdrawal Agreement (hereinafter WA), which entered into force on February 1, 2020.

On December 24, 2020, an agreement on trade and cooperation was concluded (Trade and Cooperation Agreement, hereinafter TCA).

The Protocol on social security coordination, hereinafter PSSC, forms an integral part of this agreement.

The Italian national social security institute (INPS), with circular 98/2021, provided the first operational indications regarding social safety nets in application of the PSSC.

First of all, it should be noted that the subjective application of the PSSC is more extensive than WA: not only for EU and British citizens, but for all “persons, including stateless persons and refugees, who are or have been subject to the legislation of one or more States, as well as their family members and survivors ”.

Unemployment indemnity

Where a State requires for the indemnity

  • periods of insurance,
  • employment or self-employed activity

it takes into account the periods of insurance, employment or self-employment accrued under the legislation of any other State.

If the calculation of indemnity is based on the amount of the salary or previous professional income, the State takes into account the last employed or self-employed activity.

Family benefits

The PSSC excludes family indemnity from its material scope.

Consequently, in the relations between Italy and the United Kingdom, the national legislation on family benefits will apply and therefore, for Italy, the provisions of Article 2, paragraph 6-bis, of Law Decree 69/1988.

Sickness, maternity and paternity indemnities

For the purpose of recognizing the right to these indemnities, it will be possible to aggregate the insurance periods deriving from work carried out in the United Kingdom with the insurance periods completed in Italy.

HFW boosts transactional expertise in Shanghai

Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) has hired senior partner Brinton Scott and of counsel Danielle Peng in Shanghai to grow its Greater China transactional practice.

Scott joined from Winston & Strawn, where he was Shanghai managing partner for nine years. He has worked in China for almost 25 years, and is the current chair of the legal committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. Scott advises large multinationals and investment funds on corporate matters.

Peng was legal senior director for Asia-Pacific at the US automotive systems and components company Cooper Standard, where she managed legal affairs in China, South Korea, India, Japan and Singapore for four years. She advises multinationals on cross-border M&A and foreign direct investment.

“We’ve been fortunate to bring in some fantastic corporate lawyers in China over the past few years and feel that we’re building something really special here,” said head of HFW’s Shanghai office, partner Nick Poynder.

HFW was one of the first international law firms to open an office in China, in 1978. It launched a transactional practice in Shanghai in 2019.

Three Crowns named a leading Foreign Law Firm for India-related disputes by India Business Law Journal

Three Crowns is pleased to announce being named a “Significant Player” for the second year in a row in the India Business Law Journal (IBLJ) report on the leading foreign law firms for India-related work, which is based on an analysis of more than 600 law firms. The ranking recognises the firm’s extensive expertise in high-value and complex arbitrations with an Indian connection across a wide variety of sectors, including energy, telecoms, real estate, infrastructure, and financial services.

In naming Three Crowns a leader, IBLJ notes the firm has several India-qualified lawyers and India specialists across the firm’s offices and a strong advocacy unit, led by partners who frequently are engaged for India-related disputes: Constantine Partasides QC, Gaëtan Verhoosel, Reza Mohtashami QC, and Manish Aggarwal. Peers note that Three Crowns is “an exceptional firm,” “one of the best firms to work with on arbitration-related matters,” and “top notch; high-quality and expert-driven, yet focused on practical solutions.”

ABOUT CONSTANTINE PARTASIDES QC

Partasides has appeared as counsel on some of the largest commercial arbitrations of the last decade and has also advised and represented a variety of investors and States in relation to disputes under relevant bilateral and multilateral investment treaties.

Partasides has been named by Who’s Who Legal as one of the “top 20” individuals in the world for Commercial Arbitration. He is a solicitor-advocate (Higher Courts Civil) and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2014.

ABOUT GAËTAN VERHOOSEL

Verhoosel has served as advocate and as arbitrator in a large number of both commercial and investment treaty arbitrations. These include many highly significant, widely reported matters with large financial recoveries at stake or novel legal issues involved.

Verhoosel is the Co-Chair of the IBA Arbitration Committee and was appointed to the ICSID Panel of Arbitrators by the Kingdom of Belgium. He teaches international investment law at King’s College School of Law in London.

ABOUT REZA MOHTASHAMI QC

Mohtashami has represented clients as counsel and advocate in more than 80 arbitrations conducted under a variety of arbitration rules in many different jurisdictions. He has particular expertise in disputes arising in emerging markets, including India.

Mohtashami is a qualified English solicitor-advocate and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in recognition of his advocacy skills in 2018.  He is as an officer of the IBA Arbitration Committee, trustee of the DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre, member of the board of trustees of the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution, and an editorial board member of the ICC Dispute Resolution Bulletin and Global Arbitration Review.

ABOUT MANISH AGGARWAL

Aggarwal is a dual-qualified English solicitor and Indian advocate. He has extensive experience representing and conducting advocacy for corporations and States in commercial and investment treaty arbitrations in a broad range of sectors (including energy, infrastructure, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, and technology) under all major arbitration rules.

Aggarwal is recognised by Who’s Who Legal as a “Future Leader” in Arbitration and The Legal 500 UK as a “Next Generation Partner” in both the International Arbitration and Public International Law sections.

Squire Patton Boggs Advises Perwyn Growth Capital on US$30 Million Funding Round in Lookiero

Squire Patton Boggs has acted for Perwyn, a family-backed private equity and growth capital investor, on a US$30 million Series C funding round in Lookiero, the online personal shopping service.

The cross-border team advising Perwyn was led by Corporate partners Ben Squires (London), Rafael Alonso (Madrid) and Paul Mann (Leeds), and also included associate Harry Hobson (Leeds) and senior associate Borja Echegoyen (Madrid).

Founded in 2015 by Oier Urrutia, Lookiero combines the expertise of personal shoppers and an understanding of its customers with in-house recommendation algorithms to provide a personalised style experience. Headquartered in Bilbao, the company has rapidly expanded across seven countries, including Spain, the UK, France, Italy, Portugal, Belgium and Luxembourg. Employing a team of more than 400 people, Lookiero has over three million registered users and, in the first half of 2021, the company grew its revenue by over 50%.

Andrew Wynn, Founder and Managing Partner of Perwyn, said, “Lookiero is set for its next phase of international build-out in Germany, Western Europe’s biggest market. In harnessing technological developments and combining them with fresh thinking and a clear business strategy, Oier and his team have demonstrated their skill in creating a business that continuously improves and builds on its effectiveness from both a consumer facing and revenue generating point of view.”

Ben Squires commented: “It was great to work with Andrew, Ravi Sharma, Mark Deed and the rest of the Perwyn deal team on this transaction. Technology-enabled service providers continue to be a focus area for private equity sponsors, as they have been throughout the course of the pandemic. The current environment has led to the faster adoption of new technologies by companies and contactless purchasing, both of which put Lookiero in a strong position for future growth and success.”

The US$30 million Series C funding round was led by Perwyn Growth Capital, with Lookiero’s existing investors MMC Ventures, All Iron Ventures and Bonsai Partners following on in the round.

The Malaysia Competition Commission’s Market Review for Selected Transportation Sectors in Malaysia: What to Expect and How it would Change the Transportation Sectors’ Way of Doing Business?

The Malaysia Competition Commission’s Market Review for Selected Transportation Sectors in Malaysia: What to Expect and How it would Change the Transportation Sectors’ Way of Doing Business?

On 24 June 2021, the Malaysia Competition Commission (“MyCC”) held its first public consultation session for the members of the public on the findings of its Market Review for Selected Transportation Sectors in Malaysia, focusing on two (2) sub-sectors, namely (i) port logistics ecosystem covering the process of importation and exportation of goods; and (ii) motor vehicle warranty covering the warranty restriction related to passenger and commercial vehicles (“Market Review”).

The Market Review which commenced in 2020 was conducted by the MyCC and its consultant, Ipsos Strategy 3 (“IPSOS”) pursuant to section 11 of the Competition Act 2010. The objective of the Market Review is to better understand the market structure, to assess market activities along the supply chain, and to determine any feature or combination of features of the market that may indicate prevention, restriction or distortion of competition.

In the draft final report of the Market Review, the MyCC together with its consultant, IPSOS have identified certain competition concerns and made amongst others, the following key recommendations/observations:

  • The Port Logistics Ecosystem
  • a) The length of period for concession agreements within the port logistics industry should be reasonable and not excessively long.
  • b) Regular review of the concession terms to be carried out as a measure to keep concessionaires in check within the boundaries.
  • c) The role of port operator in the downstream market should be limited by way of clear stipulation in the concession agreements and to make it a mandatory requirement for the port operators to obtain approval from the relevant Ministry prior to venturing into any downstream activities.
  • d) Local port authorities to oversee the development of port charges including to standardise charges and review incidental charges.
  • e) The Government to gazette and enforce a blanket imposition of the alternative schemes to container deposit such as the non-cheque deposit (“NCD”), container ledger account (“CLA”), and iCargo+.
  • f) The shipping lines to consider appointing panel depots for the industry players to choose from which will allow equally efficient depot operators to compete on a level playing field.
  • Motor Vehicle Warranty Claims
  • a) Warranty restrictions imposed by car manufacturers may possibly prevent or restrict competition in the car repair and service industry as independent repairers are likely to face barriers preventing them from servicing/repairing new cars that are still under warranty. Vehicle manufacturers are therefore encouraged to remove warranty clauses that restrict consumer freedom.
  • b) Maintenance and service plans are to be unbundled at the point of sale of motor vehicle.
  • c) Agreements between car manufacturers and insurance companies, which usually stipulate a set of KPIs that insurance companies need to adhere to by directing certain number of insured new cars to franchise workshops, would cause foreclosure of the car accident repair market. For example, agreements that contains throughput requirement clauses that set unreasonably high KPIs will encourage insurance companies to drive business to authorised workshops over other alternatives.
  • d) A warning letter shall be issued by the MyCC to parties who are found to be involved and enforcement action will be taken if the situation is not remedied within a reasonable timeframe.

Industry players involved in the supply chain of the port logistic ecosystem and warranty restriction claim of motor vehicles should therefore assess their business operations in line with the recommendations provided under the draft final report of the Market Review to ensure that they are not practising any conduct that may be deemed anti-competitive.

A copy of the draft final report of the Market Review is available at the MyCC’s website for reference.

Baker McKenzie Leverages Reinvent Platform for Transition Away From LIBOR

Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has developed and launched Reinvent LIBOR – an innovative solution designed to manage the transition away from the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) for a distinct set of clients operating in the securitization market. Available to all clients, but of particular interest to service providers within the structured finance market (such as corporate service providers and corporate trustees), Reinvent LIBOR combines legal expertise, process experts and the latest technology to help manage the time and cost intensive transition process associated with certain transaction types.

The LIBOR benchmark will start being phased out at the end of 2021 after banks in Britain and elsewhere were fined billions of dollars for trying to manipulate what was once dubbed the world’s most important number. The transition away from LIBOR is seen by many as significantly challenging, particularly in the context of so-called “tough legacy” transactions, which currently reference LIBOR and have no realistic ability to be renegotiated, converted or amended before the end of 2021.

Reinvent LIBOR was developed by Sarah Porter, a partner in the Firm’s Structured Finance Group in London, and aims to make this transition as efficient as possible. This was developed as part of Baker McKenzie’s Reinvent Fellows program, an innovation initiative whereby lawyers are given time away from their fee-earning work to focus on tangible service delivery improvements by either changing how the Firm works or addressing a material client problem.

Identifying and remedying a transition of this type requires large-scale due diligence and repapering across multiple finance documents. A tailored Baker McKenzie Online site is used to connect Firm lawyers, clients and legal project managers to enable better collaboration throughout the transition project. Reinvent LIBOR draws on Machine Learning Contract Analytics platform eBrevia, which is used to assist with the due diligence phase, and then inter-faces with Contract Express, the Firm’s document automation platform, to automate the creation of relevant documentation. The Firm’s legal project management team coordinate the entire process to ensure efficient implementation of this technology as well as a standardized approach to each project.

Baker McKenzie’s structured finance lawyers are then able to focus on addressing the complex and challenging issues that arise from LIBOR transition and deliver a dedicated and high quality solution.

“In short, each stage of the process is carried out by those with the best skillset to do so”, explains Sarah Porter. “The project draws on the talents of a number of our professionals – the Service Design team, Lawyers, Legal Project Managers and Alternative Legal Services. We are really pushing the boundary of legal service delivery in order to deliver the best possible service to our clients”.

Reinvent is Baker McKenzie’s innovation program. It is the Firm’s ongoing commitment to apply clever solutions to meet client challenges and strategic goals by accelerating change, and delivering speed, accuracy, flexibility and efficiency gains. Reinvent brings together Baker McKenzie’s change initiatives in support of better client outcomes, connecting service design, alternative legal services and legal project management teams, the Global e-Discovery and Data Advisory team, the innovation fellowship, legal tech start up program, and more.

Thailand’s Online Dispute Resolution Platform for Intellectual Property

Thailand’s Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) officially launched its online dispute resolution services (ODR) for intellectual property cases in January 2021. The ODR platform was developed through cooperation between the DIP and the Thailand Arbitration Center (THAC) under the Memorandum of Understanding re: Development of Online Dispute Resolution Procedures between DIP and THAC signed on 7 December 2020.

The ODR platform, facilitated by THAC, operates under the name “Talk DD” and is accessible via https://odr.thac.or.th/auth/login, THAC’s login page. This online platform can be used for cases related to copyright, patent and trademark infringements. The ODR/Talk DD platform aims to facilitate and support out-of-court dispute resolutions, as well as decrease the number of cases filed to the Intellectual Property and International Trade Court.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce, Jurin Laksanawisit, stated that the new system: allows cases to be filed online, thus enabling settlement sessions via online chats and video conferences; and allows fully online formal settlement processes to be achieved faster, facilitating more convenient agreements with less chance of confrontation between the two sides, and at a lower cost.

It is claimed that “Talk DD” is both easy to access and use. Mr. Vuttikrai Leewiraphan, Director General of the Department of Intellectual Property, said: “The operation reflects the efficiency in utilising technology to improve the quality of services for a more convenient and faster process, which can be completed regardless of timing or location. It will reduce travel expenses and administration expenses because it can be wholly operated electronically. It also reduces the number of lawsuits; this aligns with the purpose of the mediation process for intellectual property disputes.”

The first dispute request was submitted on the Talk DD Platform on 8 January 2021. After the parties agreed to the ODR process, the DIP acted as the intermediary for both parties to negotiate. On 11 January 2021, the dispute was resolved and the parties signed a memorandum of agreement to settle the dispute.

This first online dispute resolution case via Talk DD only took two working days to reach settlement. This is significantly faster compared to the traditional mediation and settlement process of the DIP. It also eliminates the time spent for paper submission of request forms, dispatchment of negotiation invitation letters and arrangement of negotiation meetings at the DIP. Under the traditional process, it would generally take at least approximately 45 days for the parties to meet, discuss and resolve the dispute.

However, it should be noted that in order to use the Talk DD platform/service, the user must create an account on the platform. Once an account has been set up, a request for an online mediation on the Talk DD platform can be submitted without charge. In such regard, the claimant needs to fill-in basic information regarding the dispute, including the e-mail address of the other party for the invitation to the online mediation proceedings. Once the parties both agree to the online proceedings and sign the confidentiality agreement for the ODR, the process will be commenced entirely through the online system, e.g. making appointments, negotiating via chat rooms, video conferences, and drafting and signing a settlement agreement. Although English is available, it does not completely reflect the information stipulated in Thai and therefore the Talk DD platform currently seems to be limited to Thai nationals.

Neil McLarnon joins Leaders in Law as the exclusive Commercial Litigation Law member in the Cayman Islands

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Neil McLarnon as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Commercial Litigation Law expert in the Cayman Islands. Neil’s office is located in Grand Cayman.

Neil joins us having spent 12 years practising as a Barrister in London’s leading offshore commercial chancery Chambers. Before that Neil spent 2 years in the London litigation department of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. Neil has specialised in complex international commercial litigation and arbitration involving disputes up to the value of US$50 billion. As sole Counsel, Neil has represented clients at every level of the English civil law court structure, from tribunals and county courts, through the High Court, the Court of Appeal to the UK Supreme Court.

He has represented clients in ICC, LCIA, DIAC and ad hocarbitrations. He also regularly appeared before the Dubai International Financial Centre Court. As Junior Counsel, he has worked alongside Senior Counsel for hearings and trials taking place before the High Court and the Courts of the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Jersey.

Neil’s practice areas include arbitration, banking and finance, civil fraud, commercial law, company law, directors’ duties, funds law, injunctions, insolvency law, partnership law, private international law and trusts and estates law.

If you require any assistance in this area, please use the contact details provided in Neil’s profile below or contact us at info@leaders-in-law.com & we will put you in touch.