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With a slight lag of two months, on 11 March, the Polish President signed the bill amending Intellectual Property Law ("IP Law") which is scheduled to enter into force one day following its publication. The broad changes were brought about by the implementation of the EU Trademark Directive 2015/2436 ((EU) Directive 2015/2436 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2015 to approximate the laws of Member States regarding trademarks) (the "Directive").

Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner has advised Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG on the acquisition of around 70% of Osterreichische Hotel-und Tourismusbank Gesellschaft m.b.H from UniCredit Bank Austria AG and Erste Bank der Oesterreichischen Sparkassen AG. Schoenherr advised UniCredit Bank and Erste Bank on the sale.

Schoenherr, working with lead counsel Hengeler Mueller and Belgium's Bredin Prat, China's JunHe, Mexico's Galicia Abogados, and Wuersch & Gering in New York, has advised Sweden's Ericsson on its acquisition of Germany's Kathrein SE's antenna and filters division. Noerr and Ziems & Partner acted as lead counsel to Kathrein, assisted by, among others, Eisenberger & Herzog, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Allen & Overy, and Gleiss Lutz.

Croatian employers have until the end of this year to partially comply with the recently enacted Act on the Protection of Whistleblowers (Zakon o zaštiti prijavitelja nepravilnosti; "Whistleblower Protection Act"), with which they must come into full compliance by March 2020. The Whistleblower Protection Act defines who will be deemed a whistleblower and enjoy protection for whistleblowing. In contrast, the current whistleblower provisions are scattered throughout a number of laws, such as the Criminal Code, the Trade Act, the Employment Act and others. Consequently, research conducted in 2017 has shown that around 60 % of Croatian examinees do not know how to report corruption.

Adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union (EU) 2016/679 ("GDPR"), applicable as of 25 May 2018, marked a watershed in the regulation of personal data protection and the rights of persons whose data is being processed, while also setting down penalties and making substantial progress in safeguarding the personal right to privacy.

The Vouchers Directive, which regulates the VAT treatment of vouchers across the EU Member States, was agreed upon by the Council of the EU in 2016, and caught the attention of Romanian authorities, tax advisors, and businesses at the end of 2017. Together with other Member States, Romania must design and enforce an appropriate legal framework to ensure the application of the Directive starting in 2019.

On October 29, 2018, leading Austrian law firms Dorda, Eisenberger & Herzog, Herbst Kinsky, PHH, Schoenherr, SCWP Schindhelm, and Wolf Theiss announced their joint launch of the “Legal Tech Hub Vienna”: a non-profit forum for LegalTech companies, start-ups, and other legal market participants to identify innovation potential and work together to implement technological tools appearing ever-more-rapidly on the legal market.

Of the five types of corporation that may be established under Romanian law, joint stock and limited liability companies continue to be the most common. Recent statistics show that almost 1 million companies are active in Romania, of which approximately 800,000 are limited liability or joint stock companies. Further, the number of limited liability companies is reportedly double that of joint stock companies.

Schoenherr at a Glance

Schoenherr is a leading full-service law firm providing local and international companies stellar advice that is straight to the point. With 15 offices and 4 country desks Schoenherr has a firm footprint in Central and Eastern Europe. Our lawyers are recognised leaders in their specialised areas and have a track record of getting deals done with a can-do, solution-oriented approach. Quality, flexibility, innovation and practical problem-solving in complex commercial mandates are at the core of our philosophy.

Firm's website: www.schoenherr.eu