GCO Blog

Here you will be able to follow all the latest GCO news and EU updates on the latest legal issues that may affect your business.

Une négligence qui coûte 50.000 euros d’amende ! Une première !

Par un communiqué de presse du 1er octobre, le Collège de concurrence de l’Autorité belge de la concurrence informe qu’il a condamné l’entreprise vendeur « Sanoma Media Belgium N.V. » à payer 50.000 euros d’amendes pour avoir remis  à l’Auditeur, après le délai qui lui était imparti, une étude de marché après que l’auditeur ne doive communiquer ses objections concernant le projet d’acquisition, alors que cette entreprise en avait connaissance depuis au moins deux jours.

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EU UPDATE: Intellectual Property – Droit de Propriété Intellectuelle

Le Crocodile Lacoste envoie au tapis le Caïman polonais !

Arrêt du Tribunal de l’UE du 30 septembre 2015.

En 2007, la société polonaise Eugenia Mocek et Jadwiga Wenta KAJMAN Firma HandlowoUsługowo-Produkcyjna (« Mocek et Wenta ») a demandé à l’Office de l’harmonisation dans le marché intérieur (OHMI) d’enregistrer le signe figuratif qui représente un caïman comme marque communautaire pour différents produits et services (notamment des sacs, des vêtements et coussins pour animaux, des chaussures et des locations immobilières) :

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EU UPDATE: GCO in the news

John Grayston was quoted in an article by leading Brussels publication, POLITICO, on the issue of EU Sanctions and the implications for those wishing to challenge such decisions.

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EU UPDATE: SANCTIONS and EXPORT CONTOL – Washington DC Conference

GCO is delighted to be a sponsor of the WorldECR’s 2015 Export Control & Sanctions FORUM which will be held in Washington DC on 21-22 September.  

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EU Export Controls & Trade Sanctions: From Compliance to Strategy

Grayston & Company is proud to be sponsoring an upcoming seminar entitled “EU Export Controls and Trade Sanctions: From Compliance to Strategy”, held by the Industrial Association of Ticinesi.

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EU SANCTIONS UPDATE: Iran - Historic Deal, but Caution Still Needed

The historic agreement between Iran and the P5+1 countries to dismantle sanctions will unlock the floodgates of pent-up demand to enter the Iranian market and secure access to its oil resources.
 
The key word, however, is "will" as the joint agreement foresees a relaxation of sanctions leading to their final withdrawal spread out over a period of possibly 8 years or more.

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ICPA Berlin: EU China FTA

John Grayston led a session on EU China Free Trade Agreement with Darrel Pearson of Bennett Jones (Toronto).
 
The session looked forward at the start of the EU China FTA negotiating process and compared the potential for EU China with the outcomes of the EU Canada (CETA) agreement – completed over essentially a 10 year period of negotiation but still awaiting ratification.

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ICPA BERLIN 7-9 June 2015

GCO is pleased to be supporting again the ICPA Europe conference which this year takes place in Berlin.

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EU UPDATE - WTO and Trade Facilitation

Laura Beretta, our International Trade Advisor, will speak at the prestigious ERA - Academy of European Law in Trier Summer Course on EU and WTO Trade Law.

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EU UPDATE: Investment Arbitration & EU Law

Our firm is delighted to be a sponsor of The European Federation for Investment Law and Arbitration (EFILA) inaugural conference in London which will take place on 23 January 2015 (see at http://efila.org/?page_id=3298).

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EU Sanctions – Singapore Conference

John Grayston is speaking at a Eurocentrum Online conference in Singapore on 12 November.

The session will focus on  those situations in which EU sanctions impact on business conducted in Asian region. 

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GCO Sponsor of ICPA Asian Summit - Singapore 9-11 November 2014

We are delighted to be sponsoring again the ICPA Asian conference this year in Singapore.
 
Full details of the event at: http://www.icpainc.org/#upcoming-conferences

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EU UPDATE: More EU Sanctions - Russia

The next round of sanctions have been adopted and we are now waiting for their publication. The suggestions are that more individuals, companies active in dual use products and companies in the financial services sector will be affected. This then would mark a further development of the SMART sanctions adopted at the end of July.

As we cannot yet see the new measures it is worth just noting the three key issues that should be taken into account when we finally do review the text:

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EU UPDATE: Competition Law – Droit de la concurrence

The European automotive industry, in the eye of the storm of the Chinese authorities!

Since last year, Chinese regulators have launched extensive investigations into a number of large foreign groups, including pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers of infant milk or, recently, computer firms.

More recently, the powerful National Commission for Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), one of China's competition authorities, is investigating the business practices of more than 1,000 firms active in the local and foreign automotive industry, according to state media.

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EU UPDATE: Competition Law – Droit de la concurrence

The DG Comp wants an ex ante control for the non controlling minority shareholding in the territory of the EU.

La Commission européenne a soumis à la consultation publique son Livre Blanc intitulé «Towards more effective EU merger control».

Elle invite les parties prenantes à s’exprimer sur plusieurs options possibles en vue de l’amélioration du règlement européen sur les concentrations 2004/139/CE sur d’une part, les participations minoritaires et d’autre part, le renvoi des affaires entre la Commission et les autorités nationales de concurrence.

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The SFO and Rights of Defence

Some 20 years ago I attended a “contentious” meeting at the European Commission with a client. After the prelims the Commission officials asked the client (in front of me) whether it would not be better to invite the lawyer to leave the room. If this was unacceptable then, today it would be unthinkable. Over the ensuing 20 years the Commission’s procedures have been strengthened, the rights of defence have been codified in the EU Charter of Fundamental rights; and the Court of Justice of the EU has made judicially clear the absolute obligations of EU institutions and Member States to respects rights of defence when EU law is in issue.

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EU UPDATE: Competition Law – Droit de la concurrence: New De Minimis Notice – Greater risk for SMEs

La Commission européenne a publié le 25 juin 2014 une version révisée visant à évaluer si des accords d’importance mineure entre entreprises ne tombent pas sous le coup de l’interdiction générale frappant les pratiques anticoncurrentielles en vertu du droit de la concurrence de l’UE (article 101 §1 du TFUE).

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EU UPDATE: Competition Law – Droit de la Concurrence (Damages – Umbrella Pricing)

INDEMNISATION DUE PAR LES EFFETS D’OMBRELLE SUR LES PRIX (Umbrella pricing)

La CJEU a récemment introduit un précédent notable en matière de l’application privée du droit de la concurrence. L’arrêt est remarquable car il endosse la théorie des effets d’ombrelle sur les prix et la conséquente réparation des dommages, tout en interdisant aux États membres de l’exclure catégoriquement. Dans son arrêt du 5 juin 2014 (affaire C-557/12-Kone et consorts), la CJUE constate que toute personne est en droit de demander réparation du préjudice subi lorsqu’il existe un lien de causalité entre le préjudice réclamé et l’entente en question. Ce principe donne la pleine effectivité de l’interdiction des ententes anticoncurrentielles (article 101 TFUE).

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EU UPDATE: Proposed Reforms at the EU General Court

The General Court is considering to adopt a series of sensible modifications in its Rules of Procedure.

One of the most striking proposals is the introduction of a more stringent rules and protections in relation to access to confidential information held by EU Institutions in the context of acts adopted under Article 215 TFEU.   

This will be of particular concern in cases concerning eg application of EU Sanctions. We attach below a link to the latest draft which has being submitted to the EU Council.

Click here to view

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Suspension and Debarment Colloquium

Peter Trepte, of counsel, is an invited panellist at the Suspension and Debarment Colloquium organised by the Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development.

The colloquium is to be held at the World Bank Preston Auditorium in Washington DC on Thursday 15 May.

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