Commercial law - IP/ICT-law news
Overview of the latest commercial and IP/ICT law news
Price reduction announcements during holiday season and seasonal sales
13 December 2022
The Belgian act of 8 May 2022 implementing the Omnibus Directive provides for an obligation to mention the “prior price” when announcing price reductions, such “prior price” being the lowest price applied during a 30 days’ period before the price reduction. In case of successive sales promotions typically applied during the holiday season and seasonal sales, the “prior price” to be mentioned when announcing a price reduction should take into account price actions already applied during prior (holiday) promotions.
Biometric data: key takeaways from the new recommendations of the Data Protection Authority
26 August 2021
The Belgian Data Protection Authority (DPA) has recently issued a new recommendation about the processing of biometric data (fingerprint, face ID, iris, gait recognition, etc.). The DPA confirms that its previous recommendation on the topic is not applicable anymore since the entry into force of the GDPR. It leaves a period of 1 year both to the processors and the Belgian legislature to implement its new recommendations in order to ensure compliance with the European legal framework.
Are your contracts compliant with the new B2B law?
9 December 2020
The third set of rules in the “B2B law” of 4 April 2019 entered into force on 1 December 2020. This third set of rules (incorporated in art. VI.91/1-VI.91/10 Code of Economic Law) relates to “unfair contract terms” and imposes significant restrictions on freedom of contract in B2B relationships.
The law’s first set of rules, regarding unfair market practices, already entered into force on 1 September 2019. The second set, regarding abuse of economic dependence, entered into force on 22 August 2020.
European Directive on restructuring and insolvency (2019)
26 November 2020
On 6 June 2019, the Council of the European Union adopted the directive on preventive restructuring frameworks, second chance and measures to increase the efficiency of restructuring, insolvency and discharge procedures. The main goal of the directive is to prevent insolvency and enhance ‘second chance’ policies.
Upcoming amendments to insolvency proceedings and safeguarding of employee rights
5 November 2020
At the end of October 2020, a draft bill was filed in anticipation of a wave of bankruptcies consequent to the COVID-19 crisis, and in response to the Plessers-case judgment by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).
CJEU ruling prohibits the supply of free samples of prescription drugs to pharmacists
18 June 2020
On 11 June 2020 the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that, under EU Directive 2001/83, pharmaceutical companies are not allowed to distribute free samples of prescription-only medicinal products to pharmacists (C-786/18). The CJEU also specified that EU law does not prohibit the distribution of free samples of over-the-counter (“OTC”) medicinal products - for which a prescription is not required - to pharmacists.
Intermediary not in violation of trademark law if it stores goods that infringe trademark rights
22 April 2020
In a recent judgement, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) ruled that a company that stores goods on its platform on behalf of a third party seller, without knowing that these goods infringe trademark rights, does not itself use (and accordingly infringe) that trademark. This is as long as the intermediary itself does not pursue the aim of offering the goods for sale or putting them on the market.
European Patent Office rejects AI as ‘inventor’ in patent applications
6 March 2020
The European Patent Office (“EPO”) recently refused two patent applications designating a machine as the inventor, and recently published its reasoning behind this significant decision, with developments by AI systems or machines becoming increasingly common.
What rules can be derived from this EPO decision with respect to the formal requirement of designating a patent inventor?
New Belgian legislation to tackle shortage of medicinal products
10 February 2020
Belgium has passed new legislation on the distribution of medicinal products, in order to ensure their uninterrupted supply to the Belgian market. This legislation will need to be implemented by royal decree.
Published on 3 February 2020, this new Act (“Act”) completes the legislative measures taken in 2019 (by the Act of 7 April 2019) to tackle medicinal product shortages.
What are the Act’s key features?
21 October 2019
Is the end of judicial reorganisation through a court-supervised transfer in sight?
31 January 2019
With the Law of 11 August 2018, the Law on the Continuity of Enterprises (LCE) (and the Bankruptcy Law) were incorporated in Book XX of the Belgian Economic Code (BEC).
During this codification, the provisions regarding the ‘LCE 3’-procedure were taken verbatim in the new Book XX BEC.
The ‘LCE 3’-procedure is a judicial reorganisation through a transfer of an enterprise or (part) of its activity under court supervision.
This procedure allows interested buyers to ‘cherry pick’ employees from the enterprise in reorganisation, without the obligation to take over the complete workforce (former article 61, §4 LCE, current article XX.86, §3 BEC).
This procedure has come under increased scrutiny from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and is looking to be officially on its last legs.
Google’s GDPR fine: relevant for all companies processing personal data
24 January 2019
The French Data Protection Authority (CNIL) imposed a EUR 50 Million fine on Google for violating GDPR rules. As this precedent is very much relevant for every company active in personal data processing, Deloitte Legal – Lawyers aims to highlight specific action points in this regard.
On 21 January 2019, CNIL imposed the first significant administrative fine since GDPR’s entry into force on 25 May 2018. This noteworthy decision is not only important for multinationals operating with big data but applies to all personal data processing activities, since the violations relate to some of GDPR’s core principles; these are often misunderstood and incorrectly applied.
New EU rules on the free flow of non-personal data
21 January 2019
Data is an important asset for many companies. For this reason, several legal initiatives regulating data have recently been observed. As far as personal data is concerned, the GDPR is without a doubt still on top of our mind. However, those who work with non-personal data should now acknowledge the new and specific EU rules that have been issued.
On 14 November 2018, the European Parliament and Council have adopted regulation (EU) 2018/1807 (hereafter the “Regulation”) on the free flow of non-personal data. The Regulation will come into force across all EU Member States as of the end of May 2019. Companies operating with a business model based on non-personal data should examine the extent to which they can benefit from the Regulation or how it could affect their activities.