Posted in Articles

THE EU COMMISSION SETS OUT ITS POSITION ON BREXIT NEGOTIATIONS OVER INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

On 6 September 2017, the EU Commission published its position paper setting out the main principles that will govern its attitude to Brexit negotiations with the UK on intellectual property (the “Paper”).  The Paper sets out 5 General Principles:

Principle 1:  European IP rights should continue to retain comparable protection in the UK post BrexitPrinciple 2:  Pending applications for protection on Brexit day should retain their (European) priority date

Principle 3:  Supplementary Protection Certificate (“SPC”) applications

Principle 4:  Continued protection for database rightsholders

Principle 5:  Principles of exhaustion should be retained

To learn about each of these principals and find out potential consequences for the paper, please read the article by our colleagues Ruth Hoy and James Tighe.

 

Posted in Articles

It looks free, but it may come at a cost: the impact of open source on M&A deals

Given the ever more urgent demand for innovation, it is rare for software development to not incorporate third-party components. In most cases, it is easier and faster to buy rather than build. In the case of open source software, the buy decision is made even easier because the software seems to come at no monetary cost.

Read the recent blog post by our colleague,  Anna Friedman,to learn about the cost to using open source software, in the form of compliance with the applicable open source license.

Posted in Articles Reports

Blockchain Regulation: Recent Developments and Prospects for Regulatory Actions

By: Martin Bartlam & Mark Radcliffe

Blockchain technology is a nascent technology that is providing evolving applications in finance every day. Several regulators have already signaled their intention to examine the use of blockchain, also referred to as distributed ledger technology (DLT).

While potentially attractive to regulators due to increased transaction security and reduced risk of manipulation, this new technology gives rise to difficult legal challenges that regulators are grappling to understand. This short article analyses the regulators’ approach to blockchain.

A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE US REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT

US regulators are closely monitoring the development of blockchain and other DLTs (as well as the virtual currencies exchanged on them). Some have expressed concerns regarding their impact on financial stability and market integrity.

Among US regulators, the SEC has been actively exploring potential application of blockchain and other DLTs for financial services transactions in the public securities market. In a November 2015 speech, Commissioner Kara Stein first touted the potential of blockchain for tracing securities lending, repo, and margin financing and monitoring systemic risk by, for example, overseeing collateral reuse. However, Commissioner Stein also cautioned that as the market embraces Blockchain technology, “regulators need to be in a position to lead, harnessing its benefits and responding quickly to potential weaknesses.” Moreover, the SEC has embraced the early adoption of Blockchain as it relates to securities using its t0.com blockchain platform.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is another US regulator examining how blockchain and DLTs could be used in the derivatives market. In March 2016, CFTC Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo discussed the emergence of DLT and stressed the importance of adopting a “do not harm” regulatory approach that establishes “uniform principles in an effort to encourage DLT investment and innovation.”

More formally, the CFTC Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting, held in April 2016, included a blockchain panel. The TAC noted that the lack of industry standards to date is a result of the fact that blockchain and DLTs are still emerging and their implementation will be incremental.

FinCEN is another US regulator issuing administrative rulings and interpretive guidance regarding virtual currencies and blockchain. FinCEN issued a ruling that an online precious metals brokerage using blockchain was subject to the regulator’s money transmission regulations.

Most recently, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) warned in its semi-annual risk survey that virtual currencies “enable anonymity for cyber criminals, including terrorists and other groups seeking to transfer and launder money globally.”

Other US agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Production Bureau (CFPB), have brought enforcement actions and issued warnings to consumers regarding the risks associated with bitcoin and virtual currencies more generally.

 

A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE EUROPEAN REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT

The European Securities Market Authority (ESMA), which is the umbrella of all national securities commissions in Europe, published a discussion paper in June 2016entitled “The Distributed Ledger Technology Applied to Securities Markets,” which addresses potential benefits and risks that DLT could have on securities markets, especially from a public policy perspective.

In the UK, the FCA has been extensively involved in fintech through the development of a regulatory fintech sandbox. The approach has largely been to watch and see how the technology develops. The FCA recently published its “Discussion Paper on Distributed Ledger Technology,” in which it calls for comment on the risks, uses and opportunities for the development of distributed ledger technology in the finance sector. The paper looks at the use of DLT in the context of shared database models, digital currencies, digital asset trading and initial coin offerings, among other things, with a view to if and how regulation should be applied to the uses arising from the development of the technology.

 

MOVING FORWARD FROM A REGULATORY PERSPECTIVE

It is clear that regulators will pay close attention to the development and use of DLT in the regulated sector. Regulators have generally avoided regulating technology itself and have paid attention to the uses and products that may be promoted or developed across the technology platform.

While the market monitors potential regulatory developments, effective governance is the key to the successful implementation of DLT to protect participants, investors and stakeholders while ensuring that the system is resilient in the face of systemic risk, privacy concerns and cybersecurity threats.

The development of the regulatory approach is still unclear, but it is incumbent on the industry as a whole to monitor applications to which blockchain may be put and avoid products and processes that are abusive or will lead to systemic risk. Otherwise, we can expect heavy- handed regulation that will limit the future development of the technology and the benefits it can provide.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Learn more by contacting the authors:

Martin Bartlam

T +44 (0)207 796 6309

martin.bartlam@dlapiper.com

Mark Radcliffe

T +1 650 833 2266

mark.radcliffe@dlapiper.com

Posted in Event

Labour & Employment Global Law Forum

On September 18th,  we co-hosted our second Labour & Employment Global Law Forum in collaboration with Herzog, Fox & Neeman (HFN) and the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) in HFN’s conference center in Tel Aviv. The program focused on crucial insights in employment and labour law issues in Israel and around the globe.  Moria Tam-Harshoshanim, a labour and employment partner at HFN, gave a presentation on Israeli labour law, employment relations and compliance, followed by a global perspective presented by our DLA Piper colleagues.

Kai Bodenstedt, a partner in our Hamburg office and head of the German Employment group, discussed trends in German employment law specific to the rise of atypical workers and the growing gig economy; Bijan Eghbal, a partner in our Paris office, examined the new Macron Labor reform; and Vinita Arora, a partner in our London office, focused on the transformation of the contemporary labor market due to more dynamic working arrangements, the rise of the digital economy, and the emergence of the non-standard work models.

The event concluded with an informative client panel focused on critical issues affecting multinational Israeli companies. Panelists included: Ganit Ashkenazi, Senior Director and Legal Counsel at Marvell Israel; Anat Assaf, Vice President of Human Resources at Gett; Ilana Berman Nir, Employment Legal Counsel at Varonis; and Maayan Yaakobovich, Attorney at EL AL Israel Airlines. The panel was moderated by Abigail Borowitz, a labour and employment partner at HFN.  Over 50 in-house legal counsel from a wide range of Israeli and multinational companies were in attendance for the successful event.

 

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Posted in Event Reports

ANNOUNCING THE LATEST EDITION OF OUR GUIDE TO GOING GLOBAL – EMPLOYMENT

As business grows more global, the challenge for in-house counsel and HR professionals responsible for workforce issues and employment law compliance is intensifying. We designed our complimentary Guide to Going Global to help you meet that challenge head-on.

Click to read the Guide.

And don’t forget to register here for our upcoming Labour & Employment Global Law Forum on Monday, September 18th.  The program will provide crucial insights into employment law issues in Israel and around the globe. to register.  Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions by emailing Jacob Katz (Jacob.Katz@dlapiper.com).

Posted in Reports

ANNOUNCING THE LATEST EDITION OF OUR GUIDE TO GOING GLOBAL – TAX

Many companies today aim to scale their businesses globally and into multiple countries simultaneously.  Successful expansion depends, in part, on strategic and effective tax planning and compliance.

We designed our complimentary Guide to Going Global – Tax to help you meet that challenge head on. This guide, brought to you by DLA Piper’s Tax group, summarizes the key features of tax laws in over 26 popular jurisdictions around the world.

We address common tax questions, by jurisdiction, including:

Taxation of resident companies and nonresident companies
Availability of tax holidays, rulings and favorable tax regimes
Ability to use losses to offset income
Anti-deferral (ie, CFC) rules
Withholding taxes
Employment tax issues

 

Whether you are moving into new jurisdiction or managing your business across numerous borders, our guide helps to give you confidence that your organization has access to current information wherever you do business. We hope it will become an invaluable resource for you.

To access the 2017 edition of the Guide to Going Global – Tax, please visit this page.

Posted in Articles Event

India to Bid for Israeli Offshore Oil-and-Gas Exploration Rights

India’s bid for Israeli offshore oil-and-gas exploration blocks could be the first major deal since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic trip in July.  The deal emphasizes how Israel and India are expanding beyond their deep defense ties into sectors such as energy and technology.  To read more, read the recent article in Haaretz.

And don’t forget to save the date for our upcoming Israel-India Summit in collaboration with PwC, scheduled for Wednesday, November 8th in Herzliya.  The program will feature a number of Indian companies and investors alongside Israeli entrepreneurs looking to explore and expand the business opportunities between the India and Israel.  Please register here.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if you are interested in getting involved in the Summit by emailing Jacob Katz (Jacob.Katz@dlapiper.com).

Posted in Articles Event

Global Employment Law: August 2017 Roundup

Please see our global roundup of employment developments for August 2017 to learn about the latest advancements in employment law around the world. Highlights include: New Zealand: Pay Equity and Equal Pay Bill introducedAustria:  New quota for female board members from January 2018Kuwait: Reform to end of service gratuity increases cost to employers, and Romania: Key changes to labor laws in force now, as well as developments throughout Asia Pacific, EMEA, and the Americas.

And don’t forget to register here for our upcoming Labour & Employment Global Law Forum which will take place on September 18th in Tel Aviv!

 

Posted in Reports

A to-do list for the fourth quarter – three key topics for public companies, plus action items

As summer winds down, we want to highlight three key deadlines and actions items topics public companies need to keep in mind as they head into fall. The first relates to certain amendments adopted by the SEC that require hyperlinks to exhibits in exhibit indexes beginning September 1, 2017. The second relates to the annual global benchmark policy formulation process of Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS). The third relates to certain rules adopted by the SEC in 2015, concerning CEO-to-median-employee pay ratio disclosure (the Pay Ratio Rule). Sanjay M. Shirodkar,Greg HayesRita M. PatelBrooke R. Kerendian, and BrittanyAnn McCants break down these developments in their corporate governance alert. If you have any questions following the report feel free to find out more by  contacting any of the authors.

 

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