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What the Dickens is Up With Audit Firms?
TSMP Law Corporation, May 2019

It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of incredulity. Blazing yellow sun. Lapping blue waves. Tanned beach bods and a palm tree’s silhouette swaying against an orange sky. Once ubiquitous, the California Fitness logo that hints at its fabulous lifestyle offering has vanished from Singapore. In its heyday “Cali”, as its legions of fans called it, was not merely a gym, it was a status symbol...

ADGM Grows Up: Issues First Fines
Afridi & Angell, May 2019

The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the financial free zone which began operations in 2015, has now come of age. On 14 April 2019 Mr Alexander Guy, Senior Executive Officer and Director at Eshara Capital Limited, had the uncommon honour of becoming the first named person to be fined by ADGM’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority. Eshara Capital, in its corporate capacity, was also fined in connection with the same contraventions...

BVI Companies - Economic Substance Law
Afridi & Angell, April 2019

British Virgin Islands (BVI) companies are commonly used in the UAE by investors to hold real estate properties and/or shares in UAE companies. Investors need to be aware of a recently enacted BVI law, the Economic Substance (Companies and Limited Partnerships) Act, 2018 (the Law), which introduces economic substance requirements in the BVI...

The Bahamas: Economic Substance Legislation
Morgan & Morgan, April 2019

The Bahamas has passed legislation requiring that certain legal entities carrying on relevant activities have to demonstrate adequate economic substance in said jurisdiction. The beneficial owners of any company or limited partnership incorporated, registered or continued in The Bahamas should be aware of this legislation and consider how they may be affected. The Commercial Entities (Substance Requirements) Act, 2018 (“CESRA”) came into force on December 31st, 2018...

Directors' Duties in DIFC
Afridi & Angell, April 2019

Introduction On 12 November 2018, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) introduced a suite of new legislation concerning companies operating in or from the DIFC. This consists of DIFC Law 5 of 2018 (the Companies Law), DIFC Law 7 of 2018, the Companies Regulations and the Operating Regulations...

Health Data Confidentiality on a Rise in the UAE!
Afridi & Angell, April 2019

Recent events, including the investigations into Facebook’s handling of its users’ personal data, have highlighted the realization that personal data is, in today’s world, one of the most valuable resources for any business and that businesses not only collect and store their customers’ personal data but also use and even sell it for profit...

Court Limits Authority of DOJ to Dismiss Relator Claims
Dykema, April 2019

  Court Limits Authority of DOJ to Dismiss Relator Claims April 23, 2019 TheGranston Memoraised concerns that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) would employ its authority under 31 U.S.C. § 3730 tounderminequi tamrelator actions. Since the Memo was issued, the DOJ moved to dismiss 11 Anti-Kickback Statute cases brought by a professional relator, the National Health Care Analysis Group (“NHCAG”)...

Ultimate Beneficial Ownership Regulations
Afridi & Angell, April 2019

The DIFC Authority has issued the Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO) Regulations, which took effect on 12 November 2018 (the Regulations). The Regulations require entities currently registered with, or to be registered with, the DIFC Authority to keep and maintain a UBO Register and (if applicable) a Register of Nominee Directors, setting out the details of the UBO and Nominee Directors respectively...

Changes to Trademark Law from 16 March 2019
Wardynski & Partners, April 2019

An amendment to the Industrial Property Law took effect on 16 March 2019, transposing into Polish law the Trademark Directive (2015/2436). The amendment is not revolutionary but will certainly have huge practical implications. The changes have been made primarily to better align the EU and national trademark systems...

Possible Changes to the Legalization and Regulation of Hemp and CBD Oil
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, April 2019

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced new steps it is taking to determine a framework for lawful marketing of appropriate cannabis and cannabis-derived products.[i] As expressed in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the 2018 Farm Bill), the FDA has the authority to regulate products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds...

New Tawazun Economic Program Policy Guidelines Issued
Afridi & Angell, April 2019

The UAE has had an offset program for the better part of 30 years. It was originally conceived as an inducement for investment in industrial ventures in the UAE that would contribute to the diversification of the UAE’s economy. This underlying purpose continues today. However, the offset program, as originally devised, looked for development in non-military and non-hydrocarbon sectors...

BVI: Economic Substance Legislation
Morgan & Morgan, April 2019

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) has passed legislation requiring certain legal entities carrying on relevant activities to demonstrate adequate economic substance in the BVI. The owners of any company or limited partnership registered or incorporated in the BVI should be aware of this legislation and consider how they may be affected. The Economic Substance (Companies and Limited Partnerships) Act, 2018 (the Act) came into force on January 1st, 2019...

IRS Clarifies General Public Use Requirements for Residential Rental Projects Financed by Tax-Exempt Bonds
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, April 2019

The Internal Revenue Service recently eliminated an inconsistency between the definition of “general public use” for purposes of the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) under §42 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the “Code”) and the definition of “general public use” for purposes of tax-exempt multifamily housing bonds under Code §142(d)...

340B Drug Ceiling Prices Now Available
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, April 2019

On April 1, 2019, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) launched a secure website that lists the maximum price drug manufacturers may charge 340B-covered entities for 340B-eligible drug purchases (the 340B Ceiling Price Site).  Drug manufacturers and 340B-covered entities may access the 340B Ceiling Price Site through their HRSA Office of Pharmacy Affairs information system (the 340B OPAIS) account here: https://340bopais.hrsa...

Parody and Abuse
ENSafrica, April 2019

A long-running legal dispute in the USA involving the brand Louis Vuitton is interesting. Not only does it deal with parody as a defence to trade mark infringement, but it also deals with trade mark bullying.What happened here was that Louis Vuitton sued a company called My Other Bag for selling cartoon-style tote bags bearing the name Louis Vuitton, claiming trade mark and copyright infringement. The case failed, with the alleged infringer successfully raising the defence of parody...

Chips – a Hot Topic in South Africa
ENSafrica, April 2019

  We have reported on the demise of the Advertising Standards Authority (“ASA”) in previous articles, but there’s now a new advertising sheriff in town, the Advertising Regulatory Board (“ARB”), a body whose strapline is “Consumer protection through responsible advertising”. Gail Schimmel is the CEO of this new body...

Amazon: Lessons from the World’s Biggest Brand
ENSafrica, April 2019

  Some brands simply seem to play a major role in our lives – Apple, Facebook, Google, Netflix. These are brands that for many of us have become something of an ever present. One brand that surely belongs on that list is Amazon, one of the most important, influential and high-profile brands in the world. Brand Finance recently declared Amazon to be the world’s most valuable brand, valuing it at USD 50 billion...

Soul Destroying – Perhaps Not!
ENSafrica, April 2019

South Africa’s East Coast Radio listeners recently got a great beginners’ class in trade mark law. It would be a shame if all the people who missed the broadcast lost out.The discussion dealt with a dispute involving the fast-food chain Chicken Licken and a small Durban vegan restaurant called Oh My Soul. It featured an interview with the couple who own the restuarant, Tallulah and Richard Duffin, as well as the attorney acting for Chicken Licken...

Uganda Passes New Investment Code
ENSafrica, April 2019

Uganda has enacted the Investment Code Act, 2019 (the “Code”). The previous Code was enacted in 1991 and was long overdue for amendment given the changes in approach to attracting investment and the glaring weaknesses in the old Code. The new Code strengthens the Uganda Investment Authority (the “Authority”), establishing it as a one-stop investment centre, and also provides for the financing and auditing of the Authority...

March Comes in Like a Lion: New Verification Process and Focused Reviews for Government Contractors and Subcontractors
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, April 2019

On March 25, 2019, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) released its Corporate Scheduling Announcement List (CSAL). The CSAL was released in the OFCCP FOIA Library. This is the first time the OFCCP has not mailed the advanced courtesy notification to covered contractors and subcontractors, posting only in the FOIA Library...

Panama: New Law on Protection of Personal Data
Morgan & Morgan, April 2019

With the enactment of Law No. 81 on Protection of Personal Data, the Republic of Panama aims to establish the principles, rights, obligations and procedures that regulate the protection of personal data, also considering their interrelation with private life and other rights and fundamental freedoms of citizens, by natural or legal persons, public or private law, lucrative or not, that process personal data in the terms provided in the Law...

Single Economic Entity and Corporate Separatedness Doctrine: A Juxtaposition
Kochhar & Co. Advocates & Legal Consultants, April 2019

The law governing companies globally, and in India, recognises a company to be a personality, distinct from its shareholders. In the celebrated case of Salomon v Salomon & Co. Ltd[1]., Lord Halsbury LC, had stated:“[A] company must be treated like any other independent person with its rights and liabilities [legally] appropriate to itself … whatever may have been the ideas or schemes of those who brought it into existence.”1...

DRE Implements Petition Process for Removing Discipline Information from Website
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2019

California Business and Professions Code Section 10083.2 requires the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) to provide information regarding the status of every DRE licensee on its website, including information regarding any disciplinary actions taken by the DRE against a licensee. The purpose of these disclosures is to ensure full transparency concerning information the DRE deems to present a "credible risk" to members of the public. The issue with Section 10083...

Personal Data: Comprehensive Right to Information of the Employee - A Threat to the Anonymity of Whistleblowers?
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, March 2019

The Regional Labor Court (LAG) of Baden-Württemberg, in its ruling of December 20, 2018 (Ref. 17 Sat 11/18), granted an employee a comprehensive right to information against his employer with regard to all personal data collected about his person. The right to information was explicitly confirmed in relation to personal data resulting from internal investigations and data from potential whistleblowers...

Federal Court Grants Broad Access to Mental Health Facility's Residents, Records for Purposes of Investigation
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, March 2019

A trio of federal statutes often referred to collectively as the P&A Acts, which includes the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act (PAIMI), the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (PADD), and the Protection and Advocacy of Individual Rights Act (PAIR), authorize the creation and operation of a protection and advocacy system (P&A system) to monitor the care of individuals with mental illness and developmental disabilities...

Updated TEFRA Approval Process Effective April 1
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, March 2019

The IRS recently modernized the public approval process (“TEFRA approval”) for private activity bonds (“bonds”) for TEFRA approvals given on or after April 1, 2019.  States and political subdivisions issuing bonds, or on whose behalf bonds are issued (“issuers”), and states and political subdivisions whose geographic jurisdiction contain the site of a project (“hosts”) may take advantage of these new rules...

Ninth Circuit Decision on Santa Monica Short-Term Rental Ordinance is Win for Cities, Defeat for Airbnb
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2019

On March 13, the Ninth Circuit issued its highly anticipated opinion in HomeAway.com v. City of Santa Monica, upholding the City's ordinance restricting short-term home rentals on popular websites like Airbnb.com. Background In light of the severe housing crisis currently afflicting California, concerns have arisen over the impact of short-term home rentals on the supply of long-term housing...

German Bundestag Adopts New Law for the Protection of Trade Secrets
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, March 2019

Companies will need to take appropriate steps in the future to protect their secrets. The new law on the protection of trade secrets places greater demands on the sensitivity of secrets to this extent. Whistleblowers can also reveal trade secrets with impunity - one more reason to set up a whistleblower hotline. Reverse engineering will be a permissible way of acquiring a trade secret in the future...

12 Questions Directors Should Ask About New Bank Activities
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, March 2019

As seen in Bank Director A bank’s board of directors must answer to a variety of constituencies, including shareholders, regulatory agencies, customers and employees. At times those constituencies may have competing interests or priorities. Other times, what may appear to be competing interests are actually variations of aligned interests...

New Advisory Opinion from Ethics Commission Impacts Substitute Teachers
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, March 2019

The West Virginia Ethics Commission issued a new Advisory Opinion on March 7, 2019, which is going to impact the way some teachers arrange for substitutes. The opinion sought was whether it is a violation of the Ethics Act for teachers to prearrange a relative to substitute teach in their absence or place relatives on a preferred list of substitutes for their classrooms...

Apples and Pears, Beers and Confusion
ENSafrica, March 2019

  Are the two trade marks confusingly similar? It’s the question that’s most commonly asked in trade mark law. The issue of confusion can arise in the context of registration: should the trade mark be registered in the face of the earlier trade mark? It can also arise in the context of use: does the trade mark that’s being used infringe the registered trade mark? The two cases that we will consider here both involve registration...

The Double Big Mac Attack
ENSafrica, March 2019

  TheBig Maccase has enjoyed considerable publicity – many publications have reported on it, includingWorld IP Review. The decision shines a spotlight on some important aspects of trade mark law. In this case, an Irish company called Supermac’s applied for the cancellation of the EU trade mark registration for Big Mac (belonging to McDonald’s) on the basis of non-use...

Valentine’s Day: Not a Great Deal of Romance
ENSafrica, March 2019

  Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but from a trade mark point of view, it’s been anything but romantic. As the following stories indicate, the world of trade marks has done little to set hearts aflutter...

DOL Proposes Increase to FLSA Exemption Threshold
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, March 2019

On March 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a rule that would significantly change the pay standards for overtime exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Since 2004, the minimum salary necessary to qualify for an administrative, executive, or professional exemption under the FLSA has been $455 per week ($23,660 per year). Under the proposed rule, this minimum would increase to $679 per week ($35,308 per year)...

DOL Finally Proposes New White Collar Exemption Regulations
Dykema, March 2019

The much awaited revised new regulations governing who qualifies for the FLSA white collar exemption has finally been revealed by the Department of Labor. It did so on March 8 by publishing anNPRM(“Notice of Proposed Rule Making”). In December of 2016, a Texas federal court entered a nationwide injunction halting the implementation of new regulations which would have dramatically increased the salary threshold for exempting most white collar employees from overtime...

New Administrative Fines Imposed by the UAE Insurance Authority
Afridi & Angell, March 2019

On 6 January 2019, UAE Cabinet Resolution No. 7 of 2019 Concerning the Administrative Fines Imposed by the Insurance Authority was published in the UAE Official Gazette, which lists a total of 204 items that are considered to be violations by the Insurance Authority and their corresponding penalties...

Biometrics and Search Warrants: The Intersection of Your iPhone and the Fourth and Fifth Amendments
Dykema, March 2019

On January 19, 2019, federal Magistrate Judge Kandis Westmore of the Northern District of California denied the Government’s application for a search warrant that sought: “all digital devices” present at a California residence; (Order at 3), and “any individual present at the time of the search to press a finger (including thumb) or utilize other biometric features…for the purposes of unlocking the digital devices found in order to permit a search of

PTO Proposes U.S. Counsel Requirement for Foreign Domiciled Trademark Applicants And Registrants
Dykema, February 2019

Goal Is to Improve Accuracy and Reduce Potentially Invalid Registrations On February 14, 2019, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) issued aNotice of Proposed Rulemaking(“NPRM”) to require foreign domiciled trademark applicants and registrants to be represented by a licensed U.S. attorney at the PTO. The comment period on the NPRM is open until March 18, 2019...

SEC to Implement Two Additional Material Event Disclosures
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, February 2019

Issuers and borrowers who enter into continuing disclosure undertakings on or after February 27, 2019 in connection with the offering of municipal securities will be required to report two new material events. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is implementing the amendment to Rule 15c2-12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Rule 15c2-12) by virtue of Release No...

USCIS Makes Significant Changes to Form I-539 Beginning March 11, 2019
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, February 2019

USCIS recently announced that beginning March 11, 2019 it will require use of a new version of Form I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, a form commonly used to extend or change the status of H-4 and L-2 dependents.  USCIS stated it will also require use of a new Form I-539A, Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status...

Mandatory Deposit of Foreign Exchange Export Proceeds Deriving from Natural Resources
Makarim & Taira S., February 2019

On 10 January 2019, the Indonesian Government enacted GovernmentRegulation No. 1 of 2019 on Export Proceeds from the Exploitation,Management, and/or Processing of Natural Resources (“GR 1/2019”)...

Anton Piller: Not a Fishing Expedition
ENSafrica, February 2019

The Anton Piller order is an extraordinary thing. It’s essentially an evidence-preserving legal mechanism. It allows a party that feels that their rights are being infringed to approach the court as a matter of urgency and without notice to the alleged wrongdoer for an order sanctioning a raid of the premises of the alleged wrongdoer in order to find and preserve evidence that it believes will otherwise be destroyed...

Intel from Seychelles
ENSafrica, February 2019

A recent judgment in a trade mark opposition in Seychelles is worth a look, not only because it involves a major international brand, but because IP judgments are quite rare in certain African countries. The opposition The facts were that a Seychelles company called Intelvision Limited applied to register the trade mark Intelvision (a stylised version of the word together with an antenna logo) for services in class 38...

FSC Sheds Some Light on Changes Brought to the Mauritian Global Business Sector
ENSafrica, February 2019

  The Mauritian Government announced in its 2018-2019 budget speech major changes to be brought to the Mauritian Financial Services sector which were then confirmed within the enactment of the Finance (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2018 on 9 August 2018. This was the result of intense pressure in recent years for Mauritius to align itself with global norms and transparency standards...

Fight as a Soldier, Not a Guerrilla
ENSafrica, February 2019

What exactly is unlawful competition? Unlawful competition is often lumped together with IP, and indeed there are obvious links: the common law action of passing off (closely related to trade marks) is a species of unlawful competition; and unlawful competition cases often involve technology, trade secrets and the misuse of confidential information, thus potentially bringing them within the scope of patent law and copyright law...

Merger Clearance Matters
Afridi & Angell, February 2019

Introduction The United Arab Emirates (the UAE) promulgated legislation to specifically address the regulation of competition (being Federal Law 4 of 2012, or the Competition Law) several years ago but until recently, it has been the case that the requisite implementing regulations and processes were not in place. This is no longer the case...

New Long Term Residency Visas
Afridi & Angell, February 2019

What’s happened? After much media coverage, Cabinet Decision 56 of 2018 (the Decision) has been gazetted which introduces new long term residency visas to, amongst others, the following four categories of persons in the UAE:1. investors;2. entrepreneurs;3. individuals with specialised talents and researchers in various fields of science and knowledge; and4. honours students with promising scientific potential...

Crowdfunding as a Source of Financing for Businesses
Morgan & Morgan, February 2019

  One of the biggest challenges that micro, small and medium enterprises face when trying to settle in and achieve success as profitable businesses is to obtain capital and sources of financing...

USCIS Announces Changes to Selection Process for Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions
Dykema, January 2019

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced it will issue a new Final Rule on January 31, 2019, reversing the order by which the USCIS will select H-1B applications submitted under the statutory/numerical cap and introducing an electronic registration requirement for employers filing H-1B cap-subject petitions. The reverse-selection provisions of the rule will go into effect on April 1, 2019...

New Promotion Regime for Domestic Funds
Afridi & Angell, January 2019

In late November 2018, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) announced that they had reached agreement on facilitating the licensing of domestic funds by each authority for promotion across the UAE. This is a potentially significant development...

 

 

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