The ALFA International-International Law Practice Group welcomes you to the May 2011 edition of the Global Law Newsletter, a periodic electronic newsletter focusing on a wide array of international legal issues and containing articles designed with ALFA International clients and colleagues in mind.
Edward T. Hayes, Leake & Andersson, LLP, New Orleans, Louisiana - firstname.lastname@example.org
David Cibrian, Strasburger & Price, San Antonio, Texas - email@example.com
ARGENTINA: USE OF CONFIDENTIAL DATA INPHARMACEUTICAL APPROVALS
Contact: Jorge Otamendi (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Diego Fissore(email@example.com), G. Breuer,
Buenos Aires, Argentina
A recent decision by the Argentine Federal Civil and Commercial Court of Appeals resolved a dispute between the application of the World Trade Organization TRIPs Agreement on Intellectual Property and the Argentine Confidentiality Law. For the full article click here.
BRAZIL: UPDATES ON SELECTED CURRENT ISSUES IN ARBITRATION, COMPETITION, CORPORATE AND
INTERNATIONAL TRADE LAW
Contact: Marta Rodrigues (firstname.lastname@example.org), L.O. Baptista
Advogados Associados, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Brazil’s growing position in international business, trade and finance has lead to numerous recent developments in various areas of domestic law. China’s large commercial presence in Brazil presents challenges and opportunities in Arbitration (click here for full article) and International Trade (click here for full article). Brazilian currency payment systems continue to mature in the MERCOSUR region (full article here) and recent developments in competition law increase efforts to curb anticompetitive practices (full article here).
CANADA & UNITED STATES: CLASS ACTION & CONSUMER ARBITRATION CLAUSES IN THE AMERICAS
Contact: Edward T. Hayes (email@example.com), Leake & Andersson, L.L.P., New Orleans, LA, USA
Two recent decisions handed down by the US and Canadian Supreme Courts present conflicting rules regarding the applicability and enforceability of arbitration clauses in consumer contracts. Both cases involve so-called “arbitration class action ban” clauses that preclude individual consumers from enforcing certain contractual rights in a class action. The US Supreme Court issued a pro-business decision finding “arbitration class action ban” clauses preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act. The Supreme Court of Canada held that the public interest of individual consumers in bringing consumer actions to curb potentially unfair trade practices outweighs the benefits and precludes the enforceability of “arbitration class action ban” clauses. For the full article click here.
NETHERLANDS: COPYRIGHT PROTECTION & ILLEGAL DOWNLOADS
Contact: Alfred P. Meijboom (firstname.lastname@example.org), Kennedy Van der Laan, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The State Secretary Teeven of Safety and Justice released a “Key Objectives Copyright Letter” on April 11, 2011 outlining the Cabinet’s policy objectives with respect to copyright infringement and illegal downloading. The cabinet wants to balance the protection of rightholders and the importance of an open internet. A reconsideration of the private copying exception is underway although criminalization of internet users is deemed non-viable. For the full article click here.
PUERTO RICO: RECENT COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENTS & NOTABLE ICSID JURISDICTIONAL DECISION
Contact: Rafael Cox Alomar (email@example.com), Reichard & Escalera, Puerto Rico
Significant recent developments have occurred in Puerto Rico that define and underscore important areas of commercial law and arbitration. The Supreme Court of Puerto Rico recently invalidated a non-competition clause in a franchise agreement (click here for full article). A Puerto Rican court also recently clarified the Puerto Rico Sales Representative Act, commonly known as Law 21. This law regulates the principal-exclusive sales representative relationship in Puerto Rico (full article here). Finally, the International Center for Settlement of Investor Disputes recently asserted jurisdiction over an expropriation claim asserted by Cemex against the Bavarian Republic of Venezuela (full article here).
UNITED STATES: UPDATE ON FOREIGN OFFICIAL TEST FOR THE FOREIGN CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT
Contact: Harvey Jay Cohen (Harvey.firstname.lastname@example.org), Dinsmore & Shohl, Cincinnati, OH, USA
U.S. citizens and companies doing business with foreign entities should always remain cognizant of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA) and its various prohibitions on dealing with certain officials from state-owned entities. This is particularly true now that many formerly non-market economies are becoming more receptive to inward foreign direct investment and the lines between state affiliated and commercially run enterprises are often blurred. Several cases are currently pending in US courts that may impact how the FCP is applied. For the full article click here.
ABOUT ALFA INTERNATIONAL
ALFA International, the global legal network, (www.alfainternational.com) is an organization of independent law firms. ALFA International’s membership is comprised of 145 international law firms (85 U.S. based firms, 60 non U.S. based firms) employing over 9,000 lawyers and 10,000 other legal professionals. Member firms are located in nearly every U.S. state as well as in Canada, Mexico, across Europe, Latin America, South America and the Pacific Rim. ALFA International’s basic objective, accomplished through its member firms and their activities, is to improve the quality and efficiency of legal services and to provide those services to clients within a reasonable and value oriented cost formula across jurisdictions around the world.
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