Legal and Regulatory News

Updates on the latest legal and regulatory developments

Arbitral confidentiality and the right to protect legitimate interest

What happens if you are a law firm acting for party A in an arbitration and, as a result of actions undertaken by you in that capacity, party B to the arbitration brings an action against you in the High Court?  Was party B entitled to do so?  Do the proceedings themselves constitute a breach of the principle of confidentiality?  Can you submit a defence without yourself breaching arbitral confidentiality?  These questions have recently been addressed in the High Court decision in Sarah Lynette Webb v Lewis Silkin LLP [2015] EWHC 687 (Ch).

02 July 2015

Cyber security

Cyber Alert July 2015

Welcome to the latest edition of Olswang's Cyber Alert, a regular round up of regulation, best practice and news from our international cyber breach and crisis management team.

01 July 2015

Gambling

Harmonisation of EU online gambling regulation

There remains a varied and fragmented approach to the regulation of online gambling across EU Member States and while an increasing number of EU countries are individually reviewing their gambling laws, the challenges faced by both consumers and operators cannot be resolved by individual countries acting alone.  There remains scope for a pan-European review of online gambling regulation given the industry's inherent cross-border nature, with consumers opting to use sites outside of their national borders, although the trend has instead been for increasing individual country regulation.

01 July 2015

IP

Case C-215/14 Societe des Produits Nestle SA v Cadbury UK Limited

Often, where time-limited intellectual property rights expire, companies keen to retain the monopoly on that aspect of their products or services will seek trade mark protection to extend that protection.  A notable example is in the case of shape marks, which are often more suitably protected by registered designs but these can only confer a maximum of 25 years protection. The perpetual protection offered by a trade mark is an attractive option, which, if obtained, affords the trade mark proprietor a monopoly and the ultimate advantage over their competitors.

19 June 2015

Private property estates: Register trade marks early to avoid disappointment (Canary Wharf Group Plc v The Comptroller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks)

The Applicant, Canary Wharf Group, is the owner and developer of the Canary Wharf Estate, a large area of office and retail space in the Canary Wharf area originally purchased in 1987 and transferred to CWG around 1998.  In March 2013, CWG applied to register CANARY WHARF for various services including real estate investment, car parking and building construction services and printed goods.  The UK application was rejected on the basis of sections 3(1)(b) and 3(1)(c) of the Trade Marks Act 1994 (i.e. on the basis that the application was devoid of distinctive character and descriptive) and the Applicant appealed to the High Court the refusal on the following grounds:

16 June 2015

CJEU finds anti-suit injunctions in arbitral awards compatible with the Brussels Regulation

The Court of Justice of the European Union ("CJEU") has published its much-anticipated judgment in the Gazprom case.  It confirmed that under the arbitration exclusion in the original Brussels Regulation, that Regulation does not compel the courts of an EU Member State to refuse to enforce an arbitral award which contains an anti-suit injunction.

Although the ruling reaches the same conclusion as Advocate General Wathalet's earlier Opinion in the case, it is much narrower in scope and in particular does not consider the text of the Recast Brussels Regulation or revisit the decision in West Tankers.  It is likely that the application of West Tankers under the Recast Brussels Regulation will come back before the CJEU in the future.

01 June 2015

Arbitration clause “trumps” directions application by liquidators

In Philpott and Orton v Lycee Francais Charles De Gaulle School [2015] EWHC 1065 (Ch), the High Court has held that liquidators seeking directions from the court as to the calculation of a final account were bound by the arbitration clause in an underlying construction contract.  Accordingly, the debtor was entitled to apply for a mandatory stay of the liquidators' action under section 9 of the Arbitration Act 1996.

21 May 2015

E-Commerce

Launch of the European Commission E-commerce Sector Inquiry

The European Commission has now launched its e-commerce sector inquiry. This fact-finding exercise will focus on identifying and addressing obstacles to cross-border competition in online markets and will form an integral building block of the Commission's Digital Single Market strategy which was adopted on 6 May 2015.

13 May 2015

Technology

Olswang EU competition law bulletin – Technology focus

In this bulletin we provide a round-up of recent competition law activity in the technology sector. It has been a busy few months, with the announcement of the European Commission's e-commerce sector inquiry (which forms part of its broader Digital Single Market strategy) almost overshadowing the long awaited formal charges against Google. Other interesting developments include a US case involving price-fixing on Amazon Marketplace through information exchange and the adoption of algorithms and a UK High Court ruling dealing with Standard Essential Patents ("SEPs") and FRAND terms.

13 May 2015

Corporate

Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015: abolition of bearer shares

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 received Royal Assent at the end of the last Parliament.  Although the proposal is to stagger the implementation of most provisions over the next year, the changes to bearer shares come into force in May 2015.  Affected companies and shareholders need to take immediate action.

 

30 April 2015

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