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Excise and Customs Tariffs amended from 1st January, 2012

3rd January, 2012 Central Excise and Customs Tariffs have been overhauled from 1st January, 2012. As mentioned in this column before, the changes have been made as per relevant provisions of Finance Act, 2011 wherein the effective date of the present changes was mentioned as 1-1-2012. The Central Board of Excise & Customs has issued a host of notifications to make consequential changes in exe...

Service Tax refund for exporters – New scheme announced

2nd January, 2012 The Ministry of Finance, India, with the idea of granting quick and automatic refund of Service Tax to exporters, has announced a new scheme to expedite the process. Earlier this year, the Finance Minister had stated that a new scheme on the lines of drawback would be placed to speed up refunds. Refund of Service Tax relating to services availed by the exporters while manu...

Copyright registration and trademark protection

30th December, 2011 Nestle fortified its rights to use a red mug signifying coffee following the decision of the Delhi High Court earlier this month. The issue revolved around Nestle’s copyright to the red mug with a golden line and its subsequent trademark registration. The defendants  claimed that copyright in respect of the red mug also showing black coffee being poured into it with fro...

Tax on distilled spirit by Philippines discriminatory - WTO

30th December, 2011 The World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) appellate body, in its report circulated on 21st December, 2011, has held that the excise tax on distilled spirits, as prevalent in Philippines, whereby lower rates of tax were prescribed for spirits manufactured from specified raw materials and a higher rate when non-designated raw materials were used, is discriminatory.  The Appella...

CCI to investigate bio-diesel pricing

30th December, 2011 The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has decided to launch a suo motu investigation on whether the petroleum ministry and state-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) had colluded to depress prices paid to bio-diesel companies. Bio-diesel companies cannot sell their products in open market and have to sell it to the OMCs at prices fixed by them. Earlier, the Director G...

IP filings surge – WIPO report

26th December, 2011 A report published by World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) on 20th December, 2011 records significant growth in patent filing for 2010. Patent and trademark filings grew by 7.2% and 11.8% respectively in 2010 compared to growth of 5.1% in the global gross domestic product (GDP). China and the United States (US) have accounted for the greatest share of the increa...

Hybrid and convertible instruments now covered under preferential allotment

22nd December, 2011 The Unlisted Public Companies (Preferential Allotment) Rules, 2003 have been amended by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs by a notification dated 14th December, 2011. As per the notification, the definition of preferential allotment has been amended to cover any other instrument convertible into shares on preferential basis. It will also cover hybrid instruments as per the...

No copyright over genotype of hybrid plants

15th  December, 2011 Gene patents have seen massive litigation and opposing views from the IP community and companies on the one hand and researchers and general public on the other. The Australian government recently refused to consider a ban on patenting of genetic material. However, ruling against the copyrightability of DNA sequences the Delhi High Court recently vacated an ex-parte injun...

Online piracy and internet censorship

14th December, 2011 The Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade (OPEN) Bill is the third in a series of bills which seek to effectively tackle the problem of on-line infringement. The US Congress has already been debating on two bills Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) Bill and the PROTECT (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2...

Patent Box - UK releases draft law

14th December, 2011  Recently, the United Kingdom released the draft of the proposed legislation on ‘Patent box’ – a scheme of tax incentives to corporates to domicile in UK and exploit their patents in UK. The objective is to encourage setting up of manufacturing facilities in UK and creation of jobs.  Set to come into effect in 2013 on passage, the Bill provides for taxation of profits attr...

Compounding of FEMA violations decentralised

14th December, 2011 The Reserve Bank of India has, on 13th December, 2011, delegated its powers of compounding of FEMA contraventions, to its Regional offices/branches.  RBI’s Circular No. 57, cites customer service and operational convenience as reasons for such delegation. As per the latest amendments, for delay in reporting of inward remittance and for delay in filing of form FC-GPR aft...

Movie screening now fully covered under Service Tax

14th December, 2011 Watching a movie in a cinema theatre may become costlier now. As per the latest circular issued by the Central Board of Excise & Customs, the arrangements when the distributor and the exhibitor enter into revenue sharing agreement are also liable to Service Tax. According to the circular issued on 13th December, 2011, transactions involving revenue-sharing arrangement b...

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