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Our attorneys and specialists remain up-to-date with the latest legal developments and offer their perspectives and critical commentary.

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Goods and Services Tax

Asset distribution on retirement of partners – A transaction with multiple GST issues

30 September 2021

The retirement of partners from the partnership firms is a universal phenomenon. Further, it is not an aberrant practice for partnership firms to distribute assets to its partners at the time of retirement. However, with issues cropping up in the GST law, such distribution of assets to the retiring partners is an area of concern.

Competition and Antitrust

Vertical restraints: A competition analysis of car dealer discount policy

29 September 2021

The Competition Commission of India (“CCI”) in its order dated 23.08.2021 penalized Maruti Suzuki India Limited (“Maruti”) with a fine of INR 200 crore for its Discount Control Policy (“DCP”). The DCP restricted the amount of discount a Maruti dealer could offer to its customers. Maruti also required the dealers to seek prior approval if they wanted to offer discounts (cash and non-cash) beyond the prescribed limits.

Intellectual Property

Meritorious win: Patentability of computer related inventions in India

27 September 2021

In the case of Ferid Allani v. Union of India and Ors., the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (‘IPAB’) set aside the refusal order of the Indian Patent Office (‘IPO’) and allowed the appellant’s patent application.

Corporate

Prepaid Instruments – An analysis of master directions issued by RBI

20 September 2021

Banks regulator, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), on 27 August 2021, issued the Master Directions on Prepaid Payment Instruments (‘MD PPI’) to introduce significant changes to the existing legal regime pertaining to the prepaid instruments (PPI) viz., under the Master Directions on Issuance and Operation of Prepaid Payment Instruments (‘2017 MD’).

Deciphering the scope of ‘goods’-A labyrinthine task!

20 September 2021

The scope and ambit of ‘goods’ has always been a contentious issue from a taxation perspective. Tax policies in India have witnessed an evolution of diverse taxes levied on the acts of production, manufacture, sale, lease and transfer of ‘goods’. Thus, situations where one has had to contend with the question of whether an article qualifies as ‘goods’ has been rather frequent.

Direct Tax

Rollback of retro tax: A step in the right direction

17 September 2021

In January 2012, the Supreme Court of India gave relief to foreign investors through its landmark decision in Vodafone International Holdings BV v. Union of India (‘Vodafone case’). However, in a matter of months, the ratio laid down by the Supreme Court was rendered infructuous by way of amendments to the Income-tax Act (‘IT Act’), which were given retrospective effect from 1962.

International Trade & WTO

Circumvention of ADD on ‘ceramic tableware and kitchenware, excluding knives and toilet items’ from China, by imports from Malaysia – A case analysis

10 September 2021

The Designated Authority through anti-dumping investigation and vide Final Findings Notification dated 8 December 2017, had recommended imposition of anti-dumping duty (‘ADD’) on imports of Ceramic tableware and kitchenware, excluding knives and toilet items (‘subject goods’) originating in or exported from China PR.

Intellectual Property

Unconventional trademarks: A roadmap to the future

30 August 2021

The article discusses the increasing tread among companies and individuals to go for unconventional or non-traditional trademarks. The authors note that while colour, sound, shape of goods, smell, motion, taste, touch/texture, and hologram marks are recognized in foreign jurisdictions, the Indian Trade Marks law recognizes only colour, shape of goods and sound marks as registrable marks, as there is a requirement of graphically representation in a paper form.

Customs

RoDTEP Scheme – Should it work within the budgetary limit?

27 August 2021

The Central Government recently notified the much-awaited Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products Scheme (‘RoDTEP Scheme’) with retrospective effect i.e., for exports from 1 January 2021, with certain exclusions. The article explores the answer to the question as to whether imposition of budgetary limit imposed by the government would allow the scheme to achieve its objective of refunding the duties and taxes which are not refunded/remitted/credited under any other schemes.

Direct Tax

‘Liable to Tax’: History and impact on Treaties

23 August 2021

The DTAAs , as per ‘Article 1 – Personal Scope’, applies to those persons who are residents of either of the two country. Article 4 of the DTAA defines the term ‘resident of a contracting state’. Article 4(1) of the OECD Model Convention of 2017 inter-alia provides that the term ‘resident of a contracting state’ means any person under the laws of that state, is liable to tax therein by reason of his domicile, residence, place of management or any other criteria of similar nature.

Corporate

Status of registration for arbitration under MSME Act, 2006

19 August 2021

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (‘MSMEs’) are considered as the engine of economic growth. With the object of facilitating promotion, development and enhancing the competitiveness of MSMEs, the Indian Parliament enacted The Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act (‘Act’) in 2006. One of the key provisions of the Act is that it provides a forum and mechanism for speedy recovery of delayed payments to micro and small enterprises.

Corporate

Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2021: Wading through the Uncharted Territory of Plastic Waste Management

19 August 2021

Plastic has numerous uses and its physical and chemical properties lead to economic success. However, our relationship with plastic is complicated, as the use of plastic impedes such commercial success in the long run, in terms of impacting the environment. The social advantages of plastic are irrefutable, it has come to occupy a central position in our day-to-day lives. However, the unsystematic removal of plastic has become a significant danger to the environment.

International Trade & WTO

To exclude or not to exclude: Practice on product exclusions

04 August 2021

The defining feature of any trade remedial investigation is the product under consideration (‘PUC’). The PUC is not just the starting point of a trade remedial investigation but also the heart of it. In fact, when an application for initiation of an original investigation or even a review investigation is to be filed, the first aspect that needs to be clarified to the investigating authority is the scope of PUC. Therefore, the definition of PUC is of extreme importance.

Goods and Services Tax

Shifting the burden of indirect taxes: A contract conundrum

27 July 2021

Taxes are commonly categorized as ‘direct taxes’ and ‘indirect taxes’ due to the economic theory that indirect taxes are ultimately borne by the consumer despite being charged on the supplier. Simply put, the burden of an indirect tax can be shifted onto another and from this facet, the nomenclature ‘indirect tax’ is derived.

Competition and Antitrust

Draft E-commerce Rules: Blurring the lines between Consumer Protection and Competition Law

27 July 2021

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs published the draft amendments to the Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020 on 21 June 2021 (‘Draft Rules’). The Draft Rules seek to introduce several new concepts, restrict certain business practices of e-commerce entities and impose numerous obligations on e-commerce entities operating in India.

Intellectual Property

Rule of anti-dissection v. Rule of dominant feature – A legal conundrum

24 July 2021

The likelihood of confusion or deception amongst the consuming public is a sine qua non element in an action for infringement or passing off. There are various parameters that are taken into consideration while assessing the degree of likelihood of confusion between two trademarks, such as the goods and services under the disputing marks, the class of consumer, and the trade channels involved, inter alia.

Direct Tax

Capital Gains arising out of Joint Development Agreements – Analysis of Section 45(5A) of Income-tax Act

22 July 2021

The transfer of immovable property by land owners under mechanism of Joint development, Agreement (‘JDA’) has evolved as a preferred mode of transacting, especially in urban areas where the land owners do not have the time or expertise to develop the land and market the property on their own. They, therefore, enter into an arrangement for mutual benefit with a developer for developing and marketing the land parcels to various buyers.

Arbitration, Commercial litigation, Insolvency

Contractual claims, Arbitration and the Insolvency Code – The interplay and fault lines

21 July 2021

The Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, 2017 (‘Code’) was, inter alia, enacted for the resolution or liquidation of companies defaulting on their debts. These debts may include claims subject to an arbitration or sums determined in the form of an award. In the present article, we identify some potential scenarios where parties to an arbitration agreement must be conscious of the interplay between arbitration and the Code.

Corporate

Proposed E-commerce Amendment Rules – Whether reasonable to comply with?

14 July 2021

The Government of India through its Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, in exercise of its powers conferred under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 had notified the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020 (‘E-commerce Rules’). The Government has now, on 21 June 2021, proposed certain amendments in the E-commerce Rules and is receiving comments or suggestions from the stakeholders.

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