Arbitration of IP disputes: eyes wide shut

Technology, Media and Telecoms | 01 December 2009

The advantages of using arbitration to resolve intellectual property (IP) disputes are many. The fact that it is becoming increasingly popular may be illustrative of this. However, as all those who have been involved in arbitration are aware, it is not all plain sailing. This article looks at some of the practical realities of arbitrating IP disputes, and why it is important for parties to be fully aware of the benefits and pitfalls when including an arbitration clause in an agreement or agreeing to submit an existing dispute for arbitration (often referred to as a ‘submission agreement’).

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Samsun Logix and developing cross-border insolvency issues

Finance | 01 December 2009

With the ever-increasing trend towards globalisation, it is often observed that there are few businesses of reasonable size that do not trade across borders. At this difficult economic time, many are likely to have overseas suppliers, contractors, counter-parties and customers undergoing financial difficulties. For these businesses, cross-border insolvency issues are cropping up frequently. At the same time, the law is rapidly developing, with cases on cross-border insolvency issues regularly brought before the English and foreign courts.

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Inward investment: entrepreneurs and investors in the UK immigration regime

Human resources | 01 December 2009

The prevailing economic uncertainty has ignited significant debate in the media in respect of the desirability of bringing foreign nationals into the UK to participate in the UK labour market. Immigration remains at the forefront of political debate and, in particular, the impact of migration on the availability of work for resident workers and the impact on social infrastructure. It is likely to be a significant issue at the time of the next general election.

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FSA enforcement and lessons from Galleon

Crime, fraud and licensing | 01 December 2009

Hot on the heels of securing convictions and a custodial sentence for insider dealing in R v McQuoid [2009], further signs of the Financial Services Authority (FSA)’s renewed vigour for combating market abuse continue to emerge.

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Lisbon Treaty: update

Corporate and commercial | 01 December 2009

After much deliberation and delay, the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty appears to be back on track and could enter into force this month. Ireland, the only country to hold a referendum on the Treaty, ratified it on 2 October 2009, with Poland following closely behind by signing on 10 October 2009.

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Tidying up: revisions to waste permitting exemptions

Projects, energy and natural resources | 01 December 2009

Since 2007, Defra, the Environment Agency (EA) and the Welsh Assembly Government have been reviewing the waste exemptions from environmental permitting, a system that has been in place and largely unchanged for 15 years. In broad terms, certain waste activities, such as burning waste as fuel or spreading sludge on agricultural land, were exempt from the need to obtain a waste management licence or, since 2007, an environmental permit. These exempt activities still needed to be registered with the EA, but were intended to reduce the burden on businesses carrying out low-risk waste activities while still affording the regulators the ability to retain a sufficient degree of control.

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First-tier tribunal applies Redrow to accountancy services

Corporate and commercial | 01 December 2009

In Airtours Holiday Transport Ltd v HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) [2009], the tax chamber of the first-tier tribunal decided that Airtours Holiday Transport Ltd (Airtours) was entitled to a credit for input VAT on fees that it had paid to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). HMRC argued that Airtours was merely a third-party payer and that PwC’s services had been provided to financial institutions, not to Airtours. The tribunal applied the ratio of the decision of the House of Lords in Commissioners of Customs & Excise v Redrow Group Plc [1999] and determined on the facts that the supply of accountancy services was made both to Airtours and the banks. Accordingly, Airtours was entitled to an input tax credit as it had been a recipient of a supply of services.

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