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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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International Trade & WTO

Introduction of Significant Distortions Methodology in the EU’s anti-dumping laws

26 May 2020

Anti-dumping duty on the import of product cannot exceed the margin of dumping. Dumping margin is the difference between normal value and export price and is specific to the exporter concerned. Normal value means selling price in the domestic market of the exporting country in the ordinary course of trade.

Personal Data Protection in India: An Overview

25 May 2020

Data is becoming increasingly important in the current business landscape. Regulators, policy makers and business houses alike are concerned with how privacy and data security impact the economy. According to a 2016 report by McKinsey, all types of data flows acting together have raised world GDP by 10.1 percent over what would have resulted in a world without any cross-border flows of data.

Direct Tax

Is Section 132(4A) a free getaway pass for the assessees

19 May 2020

Search under Section 132 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (“IT Act”) is conducted to unearth cases of assessees with undisclosed income and is always considered as invasion of privacy by the assessees on whom it is conducted. The assessees also fear search because information found during search will not only affect that assessment year but would also empower Authorities to conduct Assessment/Reassessment proceedings for preceding six years.

Corporate

Electronic execution of contracts in the time of pandemic COVID-19

13 May 2020

As held by the Courts in catena of judgements, e-contracts are valid and enforceable under the laws of India. India has been and will be witnessing a surge in the execution of contracts electronically. Now, due to COVID-19, execution of contracts electronically has become inevitable. Considering the ease of execution coupled with the enforceability, there is an increased recognition for these forms of execution.

Intellectual Property

When can expression of opinions become defamatory

12 May 2020

In the case of Abhijeet Bhansali v. Marico Ltd.[1], the Division Bench of the Bombay High Court while dealing with the issue of disparagement of PARACHUTE COCONUT OIL by a video blogger, laid down the principles by which any such video or any statement can be considered to be defamatory.

Commercial litigation

Performance Securities - Legal Principles and early decisions on enforcement during COVID-19

08 May 2020

Bank guarantees, letters of credit, pledges and other similar instruments cement commercial dealings by securing payment against default of a contract. A key aspect of such security instruments is also that they are usually exercisable at the unilateral option of the holder, in order to ensure timely cashflow, despite a pending dispute as to whether the default has occurred.

Commercial litigation

Confusion on ‘essential commodities’ in the time of lockdown

01 May 2020

Several lessons are being learnt from the experience of lockdown amidst COVID-19.It also exposed varioussoftspotsin Indian laws and executive orders.Questioning the authority on such technicalities would have been termed insensitive and may have caused unnecessary hurdles to secure the recovery from the pandemic.

Corporate Advisory

Government Nod must for FDI from bordering countries

30 April 2020

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Government of India (“DPIIT”) had vide press note 3 of 2020 dated April 17, 2020 (“Press Note 3”) amended the extant foreign direct investment (FDI) policy dated August 28, 2017. As per Press Note 3, the amendment was introduced with an aim to curb opportunistic takeovers of Indian companies by persons or entities (directly or indirectly) of any country which shares a land border with India (“Bordering Country”) during difficult times

Goods and Services Tax

Arbitrary relief in GST compliances for taxpayers

29 April 2020

Due to the current lockdown, the Government has introduced certain relief measures for the industries by extending the timelines for statutory and regulatory compliances under various laws. In this regard, the Finance Ministry has issued multiple notifications on 03-04-2020. A snapshot of the notifications relevant for present discussion is as under:

Customs

Well begun is half done – Examining adequacy of initiatives by Commerce Ministry providing reliefs under FTP

29 April 2020

The lockdowns due to COVID-19 in various countries have shrunk global trade with countries choosing to protect their people first before opening any further borders. The Government has also been tweaking the Import and Export Policy for many goods keeping in view the requirement of these goods in India. The Government has also issued an Ordinance, circulars, press releases, etc., on various relief measures for the benefit of the trade and industry.

International Trade & WTO

“Reasonable Period of Time” for implementation of rulings and recommendations by DSB

28 April 2020

In the International trade scenario, World Trade Organization (“WTO”) provides an operating framework which facilitates free trade between its member-countries. The Dispute Settlement Understanding (“DSU”) is a legal text containing the rules for dispute settlement in the WTO. The Dispute Settlement Body (“DSB”) comprising of representatives of all WTO Members, administers the DSU and is responsible for overseeing the entire dispute settlement process.

Corporate

FDI Policy revised to curb opportunistic takeovers

20 April 2020

The extant COVID-19 pandemic has been plaguing individuals and industries alike. The Government of India has, with a view to curb opportunistic takeovers/acquisitions of Indian companies due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reviewed and revised the extant foreign direct investment (“FDI”) policy dated August 28, 2017 (“FDI Policy”), issued by the Department for Promotions of Industry and Internal Trade (“DPIIT”) vide press note 3 of 2020 dated April 17, 2020

Direct Tax

Equalization Levy - An approach to implement Digital Taxation Policy by India

20 April 2020

Business environment has undergone a drastic change i.e. from the traditional ‘physical system’ to the modern ‘digital system’. With user/ consumer facing countries devising measures to tax digital businesses, the International tax landscape is certainly undergoing a renovation.

Regulatory Laws

Regulatory aspects of Blood plasma therapy in COVID-19 scenario – Should we have woken up earlier?

14 April 2020

Indian Council of Medical Research (hereinafter referred as the ‘ICMR’) has recently come up with letter of intent inviting hospitals and institutions to participate in randomized controlled study of Therapeutic Plasma Exchange in critically infected covid-19 patients. This is also being referred to as the ‘Convalescent Plasma Therapy’.

Intellectual Property Rights

No Trade Secret protection over patented know-how

14 April 2020

A Single Judge of the Delhi High Court, in March 2020, examined whether trade secret protection can be granted to know-how with respect to a particular invention that has been patented outside India, in the case of Prof. Dr. Claudio de Simone &Anr. v. ActialFarmaceuticaSrl. (formerly known as CD Investment Srl.) &Ors. The Plaintiffs, Professor Dr. Claudio De Simone (Plaintiff no.1); and Next Gen Pharma India Pvt. Ltd.

Competition Law

Competition Law at the NCLAT: A Three Year Round - Up

14 April 2020

In an effort to streamline the functioning of tribunals in India, the Finance Act, 2017 brought appeals filed against the orders of the Competition Commission of India (CCI)under the Competition Act, 2002 (CompetitionAct) within the purview of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).

Competition Law

Competition Law in the time of COVID-19

10 April 2020

Businesses across the world have been impacted by the global pandemic, COVID – 19 and State measures have brought many economies to a standstill. It is inevitable that the next few months are going to present new challenges to businesses.While certain industries such as airlines, entertainment, hotels etc. will struggle to get back on their feet, essential commodities, pharmaceuticals and healthcare providers will be strained with unprecedented demand.

Corporate Advisory

Coronavirus: Employer and Employee Relationship

09 April 2020

Coronavirus, which originated from the Wuhan district of China, has been declared as a health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization on January 30, 2020. The outbreak of the novel Coronavirus Disease (“COVID-19”) has transcended geographical barriers and already sickened approximately 15,00,00 people, with more than 85,000 deaths across the globe.

Corporate Advisory

COVID-19 & Sporting Events: Impact Analysis

09 April 2020

The global sports market is an estimated $600 billion industry1, comprising of infrastructure, events, training, manufacturing and retail. The scale and revenue-generating opportunities are most visible during marquee international sporting events.

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