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Europe moves closer to ratifying ACTA

1st February, 2012 Twenty two European nations signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) on 26th January, 2012. The agreement is required to be ratified by the European Parliament before it can become law. The European Parliament is expected to debate it in June this year.   Last year, in December, Council of European Union had adopted the decision authorising the signing of AC...

Statutory fees can be claimed as refund

31st January, 2012 Refund of statutory fees paid for certain services will be available as per latest press release of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Refund of MCA21 fees will be available in cases of multiple payments (Form 1 & Form 5), incorrect payments and excess payments. The release notes that earlier, there was no process in MCA21 for refund of fees wrongly paid by the stakeholde...

Video conferencing not mandatory for shareholders' meeting

31st January, 2012 Shareholders' meeting through video conferencing will not be mandatory after 2011-12 also. It will continue to be optional for listed companies as per Circular No. 72/2011, dated 27-12-2011 issued by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. In its June, 2011 circular, the MCA had asked listed companies to mandatorily conduct shareholders' meeting electronically after 2011-12.  ...

Copyright protection to works in public domain

25th January, 2012 The United States Supreme Court has held that works in public domain were not excluded from copyright protection. In its decision dated 18th January, 2012, the Court held that the 1994 amendment to ensure conformity of copyright laws with the stipulations of Berne Convention does not violate the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The 1994 amendment restored...

Trade mark applications to indicate actual description

25th January, 2012 The Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademark, India has issued guidelines on providing information in trade mark applications. Public Notice No. 81 dated 9th January 2012 issued by the Indian Patent Office seeks indication of actual goods and services in the application form. The notice suggests that terms such as “all goods/services”, “etc”, “all o...

Refund of anti-dumping duty in certain cases – New rules notified

23rd January, 2012 The Indian Central Board of Excise and Customs has, on 19th January, 2012, notified new set of rules relating to refund of anti-dumping duty. Under these rules, an importer can obtain refund if he proves that anti-dumping duty in excess of the actual margin of dumping has been paid by him. While provisions were made in the year 2000 to frame rules to refund such duty, th...

CCI rules out anti-competitive conduct by airlines

23rd January, 2012 The Competition Commission of India has ruled out the existence of anti-competitive conduct by Indian domestic airlines. Suo motu investigation was launched by CCI following reports in prominent dailies that domestic airlines had colluded to hike prices in early 2009 and late 2010. The CCI relied on the findings of the Director General, Investigation and Registration and he...

Telecom major gets relief in mega tax dispute

Capital gains from transfer of shares held in an intermediary company, by a non-resident not having tax presence in India to another non-resident, not taxable in India - Supreme Court  21st January, 2012 The Hon’ble Supreme Court set aside the order of the Bombay High Court in the ‘Vodafone’ case and held that that the sale of shares of CGP Investments (Holdings) Ltd., by Hutchison Telecomm...

FDI upto 100% permitted in single brand retail trading

12th January, 2012 The policy on foreign direct investment in single-brand retail trading has been amended by the Indian Government. Changes permitting 100% FDI in single-brand retail trading sector have been notified on 10th January 2012. FDI upto 100% will be allowed in this sector under government approval route.   The official note states that the policy change is aimed at attracting i...

QFIs permitted to invest directly in equity market

9th January, 2012 Qualified Foreign Investors (QFIs) have been permitted to invest directly in the Indian equity market. This major policy decision by the government is aimed at attracting further foreign funds. The recent plunge in equity markets, valuation losses and dimming of enthusiasm among Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) are seen as the reasons behind this move. QFIs are permitt...

Spain brings law to curb online piracy

9th January, 2012 Spain has enacted the ‘Sinde law’ to tackle online infringement. Originally part of the Sustainable Economy Bill, the provisions to tackle illegal file sharing/downloading were not passed in 2010. The proposals to act against service providers who act with ‘direct or indirect lucrative intent’ or in any case cause or are capable of causing harm were seen as too broad. Als...

Export tariff to wait for Budget 2012 for rectification of anomaly

4th January, 2012 Customs Tariff has been amended from 1st January, 2012 as per relevant provisions of Finance Act, 2011. The Central Board of Excise & Customs has issued several notifications to amend existing exemption notifications to reflect the changes in tariff headings and sub-headings. As per Finance Act, 2011, First Schedule to Customs Tariff Act, 1975 stands amended from this year...

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