Monthly Archives: February 2016

ILN Today Post

IP housekeeping – a canter through EU reforms coming your way during 2016

Here’s a quick “heads up” of what I see as the key reforms of IP laws in the pipeline at the European Union (EU) level that are likely to affect EU regional registrations of IP, as well as the national laws of each and every EU Member State.  You will no doubt be reading more about these topics during 2016.

Patents

The new EU Unitary Patent (UP) is on the starting blocks: most of the key documents, including secondary rules and regulations for the UP and the associated arrangements for the Unitary Patent Court (UPC), are now agreed[1]. But ratification of the UPC agreement is still awaited from the 13 Member States required, including the UK and Germany (both of whose ratification is mandatory) for it, and so the UP, to come into force.  This is expected to occur during 2016 and the hope is that the UP will be up and running by the beginning of 2017.  Once that happens, innovators will be able to apply for one patent to cover the whole EU (without the need for converting to individual national registrations).

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ILN Today Post

Launch of consumer-friendly EU online dispute resolution platform

The EU Commission’s drive to encourage EU cross-border trade through increased consumer confidence took a step forward today (9 February 2016) with the operational launch of its online dispute resolution platform (ODR platform). The portal (which is accessible at the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/) is specifically designed to help consumers who have bought goods or services online, but subsequently experienced a problem with their purchase.

The ODR platform is the result of the 2013 EU regulation on consumer online dispute resolution (ODR Regulation). This sought to address a perception that consumers are not making complaints to online traders because they believe the procedure will be too long-winded, or is unlikely to result in a satisfactory solution.

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ILN Today Post

Business as usual – Supreme Court confirms Court of Appeal decision in Marks and Spencer plc v BNP Paribas

The interpretation of tenant break clauses has always been an area where the court routinely finds in favour of upholding the exact wording in the lease, regardless of the seemingly unfair impact that this may have upon the tenant and the tenant’s business.

As such the recent decision of the Supreme Court in Marks & Spencer plc v BNP Paribas Security Services Trust Company (Jersey) Limited and another [2015] UKSC 72 will not come as a surprise to most practitioners. It should also give landlords the confidence to both demand and keep a full quarter’s rent from any tenant seeking to terminate their lease in the middle of a quarter by operation of a break clause, except in cases where there is a clear clause to the contrary.

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Week of February 8, 2016 on ILNToday – A Roundup!

roundupIt’s been a full week of posts here at Zen, with our look back at the Super Bowl commercials from 2016. We’ve got one more commercials post next week – The Ugly – and while we’ve been busy looking at what advertising can teach us about legal marketing, our lawyers have been busy bringing us great substantive legal content on ILNToday. Here’s a look back at this week’s top posts in your roundup: 

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Government Consults over Reforms to Public Sector Redundancy

The UK Government has launched a consultation exercise over plans to modernise public sector redundancy rules.

The Government says that its proposals will reduce the cost of pay-outs and ensure greater consistency between workforces across the public sector.

Currently, redundancy payments vary across the public sector, even for people with similar levels of pay and length of service. The proposals in the consultation will put pay-out terms between different workforces on a more equal footing, ensuring a fairer deal for public sector workers.

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ILN Today Post

Agreement on EU-U.S. Privacy Shield to Replace Safe Harbor Faces Hurdles

Negotiators from the European Commission and the United States have announced an agreement to replace the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework for certain cross-border data transfers which was struck down last October by the European Union’s Court of Justice. However, complete details of the agreement have not yet been made available, and significant hurdles remain before it can take effect.

Background
The European Commission’s Data Protection Directive requires that countries to which the personal data of EU residents are transferred maintain adequate standards for data protection (to see a previous D&G Alert on data protection, click here). Over 15 years ago, the Safe Harbor program was put in place to enable the transfer of personal data from EU residents to companies in the United States in a manner that, it was expected, was in compliance with the EU standards.

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ILN Today Post

AILFN Board Elections announcement

(HOUSTON, 2016 February) — Michael Reiss von Filski, Global CEO of GGI (Zurich), was elected Chair of AILFN’s Board of Directors at their recent London Meeting.  AILFN, <www.ailfn.com>, a trade association of global and regional law firm networks, is established to demonstrate the networks are the most effective and efficient model for providing global legal services.

board-elections-feb2016

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(Français) Témoignage d’un stagiaire: Le bilinguisme au travail

Avant d’être étudiant en droit, j’étais un artiste ayant une passion pour l’art, la culture et les langues.  Bien que la musique soit une langue universelle, beaucoup de littérature portant sur l’art en général, que ce soit en histoire de l’art ou encore des œuvres d’écriture de compositeurs classiques, est rédigée dans la langue de Molière. Avoir un stage chez RSS à Montréal m’a donné la possibilité de réaliser un rêve : celui de pouvoir vivre parmi les francophones, d’apprendre la culture francophone, d’en faire partie et surtout d’utiliser le français dans ma vie quotidienne. Il est à souligner que j’ai vécu et j’ai grandi à Toronto – ce qui fait de moi un « anglophone ». De l’école maternelle jusqu’à la treizième année en Ontario, j’ai étudié en immersion française, avant d’obtenir des diplômes de l’Alliance Française à Toronto qui m’ont permis de renforcer mes habiletés en français.

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Superbowl Commercials – The Bad of 2016

We’ve seen the great commercials from 2016, and we’ve seen the pretty good ones, but now it’s time to get into the fun stuff – the bad commercials from Super Bowl 2016.

There are five strong candidates for “bad” commercials this year, because we had such strong contenders for the “ugly” category – but we’ll get to those next week. I’m sure you can guess what they are. With so many mediocre commercials this year, the biggest issue is that many of the spots were just flat out forgettable. I took notes on every commercials, and for the most part, it was the name of the spot, followed by “eh.” As I said on Monday, if you’re spending Super Bowl-sized money on your advertising spots, you should be spending Super Bowl sized money on the advertising itself – and that means at least evoking *some* reaction from the viewing public.

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Call Me Whatever I Tell You to Call Me Under New York City Human Rights Law

John M. O’ConnorRetail employers and other businesses that serve the public in New York City should take particular notice of the New York City Commission on Human Rights’ detailed written guidance issued on December 21, 2015, reinforcing its desire that the protections afforded to transgender individuals by the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) be broadly interpreted to ensure that transgender individuals receive the full protection of the NYCHRL. The guidance includes specific examples of what the Commission believes constitutes unlawful discrimination based on an individual’s actual or perceived transgender status, gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior or gender expression.

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