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Vol 2 (2004) - Issue 1

The Trade Marks Act, 1999—India conforms to TRIPS

Preeti Mehta, Kanga & Company, Mumbai

Until recently, the statute governing trade marks in India was the Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, 1958. Since its enactment, this statute underwent many changes. With the growing use of media, people are becoming more aware about the protection of trademarks than they were earlier. People are becoming more brand conscious and do not hesitate in complaining of counterfeiting of goods and misuse of brand names.

Hong Kong new Trade Marks Law

Vivien Chan,Vivien Chan & Co, Hong Kong

The new trademarks law, which came into effect on April 4, 2003, represents a significant effort to modernise the Hong Kong trade marks system. Registration procedures are simplified, registration requirements are relaxed, official fees are cancelled or greatly reduced and greater protection is given to trade mark owners. We shall discuss some of the more prominent changes below.

Important issues in preparing to expand a franchise system into another country

Leonard H. Polsky, Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP,Vancouver, B.C.

This article is written from the perspective of a franchisor wishing to export its franchise system from its domestic home country into another country, as the first step in expanding the franchise system internationally. What follows is an outline of several major legal issues and topics requiring consideration and preparation by a franchisor for its international expansion.

Life with the Franchising Code of Conduct in Australia

John Martin, Commissioner, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Franchising in Australia continues its strong growth, despite dire predictions following the introduction of mandatory regulation over five years ago. In Australia the franchising sector is regulated by a mandatory Code of Conduct which was introduced in 1998 under the Federal Trade Practices Act. The Code is administered by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (“ACCC”), which is a statutory with responsibility for ensuring that there is competition and fair trading in the Australian markets.

Austria—Compensation for franchisee’s investment

Dr. Benedikt Spiegelfeld, Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati,Vienna

This article describes a new article in the Austrian Commercial Code which deals with the post-contractual situation of the contractual partners and enhances the franchisee’s position in this context.

EU Report February 2004

André Bywater and James Webber, Eversheds LLP, Brussels

The spring now sees the final countdown to the most significant change to the EU, namely EU enlargement, for this coming May 1, 2004. There will also be a significant effect arising out of this as regards the enforcement of EU competition law which will be decentralised with a transfer of power from the European Commission to the national competition authorities. It is understood that the draft EU rules on these changes, along with the changes to the draft transfer of technology rules (also to come into force on May 1, 2004) are currently being undertaken by the European Commission. The revised EU merger control regime will also enter force on May 1, 2004 and these new rules have just been published.

US Report February 2004

Michael G. Brennan and Tara A. Cope, Piper Rudnick LLC, Chicago

In this issue, US Report takes a further look at issues of class-wide distribution, following a recent New York state court judgment which held that the question whether class-wide arbitration is permissible in a particular case, is a decision to be made by the arbitrator in that particular case. Enforceability of a contract’s forum selection clause is discussed along with an examination of whether or not a relationship constitutes a franchise. Finally, a recent judgment in Puerto Rico is noted, where it was held that a choice of law clause was invalidated by Puerto Rican statute.