How a Unitary Patent and a Unified Patent Court will change your EU patent strategy and what you can do now to prepare

The Unitary Patent system, including the Unified Patent Court, is not yet operational. The target date of early 2015 has recently been acknowledged as being overly ambitious; the end of 2015 is now said to be the earliest that can be achieved. Despite the delay, patent proprietors and applicants should be thinking now about their strategy for meeting the challenge created by this new intellectual property right.

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Margrethe Vestager: the new EU Competition Commissioner unveils her agenda to the European Parliament

On 10 September 2014, Margrethe Vestager, former Danish minister for Economic Affairs and the Interior, was nominated by Commission president-elect, Jean-Claude Juncker, as European Union Commissioner for Competition. On 2 October, Ms Vestager appeared before the European Parliament for a three-hour confirmation hearing during which she explained the top priorities for her term of office.

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Russian import sanctions lead to EU market support (aid) measures

As detailed in our newsletter of September 17, 2014, the European Union ("EU") has extended the scope of the sanctions against Russia.

In its turn, Russia enacted on August 6, 2014 Decree No. 560 prohibiting the importing of certain listed agricultural products, raw materials and foodstuffs to Russia from the USA, EU Member States, Canada, Australia and Norway, following the restrictive measures imposed on Russian legal and natural persons by those countries.

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What are the potential legal issues to consider when filming a documentary in the UAE?

Media lawyer Saarah Badr, discusses the key legal issues around filming a documentary in the UAE.

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Broadcasting: Post-Murphy: the territorial TV sports licensing landscape

This article looks at the impact the European Commission inquiry into TV licensing arrangements with Hollywood film studios could have on sport’s TV licensing model. Craig Giles, an Associate with Bird & Bird, refreshes memories on the position regarding territorial licensing of sports content following the Court of Justice of the European Union’s (CJEU) ruling in the Murphy case. He also examines the application of the CJEU ruling by the UK courts, the next wave of FAPL action in the wake of the ruling and issues around commercial subscriptions to overseas broadcasters and whether their sale is being restricted.

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Sponsorship - the golden goal of advertisement?

IP & IT analysis: How can sponsors protect their rights? Craig Giles, a senior associate in the sport and media groups of Bird & Bird LLP, advises on the practical issues concerning sponsorship of major international sporting events.

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Copyright levy: the new criteria of the Italian Ministry Decree of June 20, 2014

On 8 July this year, the Decree of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism – the Decree - (dated June 20, 2014) entered into force. The Decree updates for the next three years the copyright levy applicable to the records of phonograms and videos used by private subjects, as foreseen by the Italian Copyright Law,. Further to the Decree's introduction, SIAE, the Italian collecting society, has recently published the charts from which businesses subject to the levy obligations could calculate and pay the relevant amount to SIAE.

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Focus on R&D tax incentives

A significant number of countries now offer the critical operational pre-requisites for conducting research and development (R&D), i.e ., access to growing markets/customer base, access to talent, intellectual property protection, stable economy/government and IT infrastructure. This has led many countries to promote relocation of R&D operations to their country as part of their innovation-led economic development strategies. R&D tax incentives are an important component of these strategies and thus tax competition amongst European countries in respect of IP and related activities has become increasingly the norm.

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