Almost a year and a half after Poland’s Restructuring Law entered into force, introducing a clear separation between restructuring and bankruptcy, now is a good time to review its affects.
The OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project
A few years ago OECD and G20 Leaders noticed that the international tax landscape had changed dramatically. The financial crisis and aggressive tax planning by multinational enterprises had resulted in significant losses to state budgets, and perceived tax evasion had become part of the political agenda. Consequently, joint actions were taken to increase transparency and the cross-border exchange of information in tax matters and to address the weaknesses of an international tax system that had created opportunities for questionable tax tactics.
On May 17, 2017, a governmental draft of the act on actions for damages caused by in-fringements of Competition law (the “Private Enforcement Act”) was approved by the upper house of the Polish parliament. It is now awaiting the presidential signature. Alt-hough this legislative proposal was forced by EU Directive 2014/104/EU (the “Private En-forcement Directive”) and it mostly transposes its provisions into Polish law, it also intro-duces revolutionary changes to the law of delicts and the corresponding civil procedure.
The new Payment Services Directive (PSD2), scheduled to enter into force on January 13, 2018, will change the established business models in the payment market. This is due to new types of payment services and new rules which oblige banks to assist third party providers (TPP) in accessing their accounts and initiating payment transactions. Much depends on how PSD2 will be transposed into national legislation, a process which should be completed by January 13, 2018.
The Polish tax authorities have once again changed their view on the VAT classification of specific activities. This time, the shift in opinion concerns real estate deals. Until quite recently, tax authorities agreed that in general the sale of a commercial building constituted a supply of goods and thus was subject to VAT.
Intellectual property infringement through the circulation and sale of counterfeit goods is still very much both a global and a local issue. As modern day counterfeiting is now acquiring more sophisticated forms involving a plethora of new and usually unsuspected goods (for example, pharmaceuticals) and with the intent of not only existing on the black markets but infiltrating into the legal market flows as well, we are faced with the need for a more aggressive approach requiring first and foremost improved legislation and subsequently more efficient enforcement activities.
One of the astringent issues faced by intellectual property rights (IPRs) holders nowadays is enforcing their rights on the Internet, whether in conflicts deriving directly from the act of selling counterfeit products over the Internet or those involving domain name disputes. This latter concern is the focus of this report.
On-site inspections conducted by the Market Inspectorate of Slovenia in the last decade have shown that approximately 9% of all software installed on company computers lack the necessary permission of the rightful copyright holders. At the same time, over 40% of inspected companies had at least one unlawful computer program installed when inspected. Results show that SMEs are especially prone to such practices.
As part of the long-planned reform of intellectual property (IP) law in Slovakia, it was finally agreed that IP disputes should be handled by a court system able to truly understand the (often rather technical or technological) nature of IP. This decision stemmed from the frustration of many IP owners with the fact that court decisions sometimes lacked sufficient quality and that the proceedings (especially in some courts) took far too long.
Intellectual Property protection in its modern sense is considered to be quite young in Russia. Although Russia is not far behind world standards for protection and enforcement of Intellectual Property, major changes took place in Russia in 2008. Almost ten years ago the Fourth Chapter of the Russian Civil Code incorporating various Intellectual Property-related rules came into effect. Of course, this area of law is still changing, leading to new amendments, improvement proposals, and legal discussions.
As a prominent IT-hub in CEE, Belarus gave life to quite a few players in the international IT arena, including EPAM, Wargaming.net, Viber, MAPS.ME, MSQRD, Prisma, and many, many others. More and more Western software and hardware companies are entering into long-term partnerships or other contractual relationships with Belarusian talent. In this context, the basic principles of Belarusian legal regulations that govern the protection and transfer of IP rights related to software are increasingly important.
Civil damages awards are one of the primary – and often most important – remedies for infringements of intellectual property rights. Damages serve both as compensation to the right holder for the economic detriment that results from an infringement and as a specific and general deterrent to would-be infringers. – The European Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy, “Damages in Intellectual Property Rights” (2009/2010).
The Czech Parliament recently passed a bill amending the country’s Pharmaceutical Act to restrict the exportation of pharmaceuticals from the Czech market that has, in the past, resulted in a shortage of some medicinal products within the country. The Czech pharmaceutical market is thus facing a substantial change once the amendment becomes effective on December 1, 2017.
With ever-increasing spending on research and development and innovation, patents and patent applications are becoming an increasingly important part of business throughout the world, including Poland. Patentable inventions as well as confidential technological know-how now constitute key assets of numerous businesses operating across all sectors of the Polish market.