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Vol 1 (2003) - Issue 1

An overview of the franchise practice in Argentina

Osvaldo J. Marzorati, Allende & Brea, Buenos Aires

Until 2001, Argentina had not passed any legislation affecting franchising or addressing the regulation or registration of franchise agreements, despite constant growth in this field even during times of market stagnation as well as blatant recession. During the last decade, franchising has grown in Argentina from five-ten franchise companies in the early 1990s to over 200 franchisors and almost 7,000 franchisees according to statistics compiled by the Argentine franchise Association for the close of the century. It is worth noting that domestic entities/ businesses account for 70 per cent of all current franchisors, with foreign entities/businesses constituting the remaining 30 per cent.

Australia - Section 51AC of the Trade Practices Act - Impact on franchising sector

Cristina Cecere, Piper Alderman, Adelaide

This article considers in detail the commentary on section 51AC of the Australian Trade Practices Act, and by concentrating on the 'franchising' cases under that section, attempts to demonstrate that although its scope is potentially far reaching, section 51AC has not had the level of impact first perceived. This article concludes by exploring (amongst other things) the Franchising Code of Conduct as the main explanation for the less than profound impact section 51AC has had on the franchising sector and suggests ways in which franchisors can in any event minimise the potential risks that section 51AC presents.

Fundamental changes to the German Civil Code

Albrecht Schulz, CMS Hasche Sigle, Stuttgart

After discussions lasting for more than 20 years, a fundamental reform of the law of obligations in the German Civil Code (‘BGB’) came into force on 1 January 2002, with very extensive amendments to the law of contract. The reason for this were the requirements contained in the 1999 EC Directive concerning the Sale of Consumer Goods. However, in order to observe the uniformity of the law on sales, the Federal Government and the Parliament chose a ‘grand solution’ which implemented a radical reform of all provisions of the law on sales, the law on contracts for work and services, the law regarding general impairment to performance and the law concerning the statute of limitations. Parallel thereto, a number of separate consumer protection laws have been integrated into the German Civil Code; prime examples of these are the German Act on General Terms and Conditions (AGB-Gesetz) and the Consumer Credit Act (Verbraucherkreditgesetz). Set out below are the essential elements of these reforms, which will also affect the structuring of contracts and the practice of franchising.

EU Report August 2004

André Bywater and Aoife Rooney, Eversheds, Brussels

The first half of 2003 has seen a variety of activity on the EU competition front, ranging from a revised insurance block exemption to the appointment of a chief economist in DG Competition at the European Commission. On the single market front, the EU patent now looks as if it will finally become a reality. The Commission has also unveiled its radical proposal to overhaul one of the world's largest industries, the chemicals industry.

US Report August 2003

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

A review of recent US federal and State case law.