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Europe

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I OVERVIEW Technology disputes in Italy involve a large and varied amount of litigation, ranging across sectors covered by traditional patents (mechanical, electronic and pharmaceutical), telecommunications and other fields that are often hotbeds of new industry technology standards that can be protected by standard-essential patents (SEPs). Such standards may, in turn, generate licensing disputes. Disputes also often occur in sectors that involve more innovative and trend-setting technologies, such as the use of algorithms, artificial intelligence…

In brief On 18 October 2023, the Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Mandatory Registration and Use of Electronic Offices in the Unified Judicial Information and Telecommunication System” (“Law”) was enacted. The Law amends the procedural codes (Commercial Procedural Code of Ukraine (CoPC), Civil Procedural Code of Ukraine (CiPC) and Code of Administrative Procedure of Ukraine (CAP)) and provides for the mandatory registration of electronic offices in the Unified…

A claim against one of the UK’s largest water companies for allegedly misleading regulators about the number of times it discharged sewage into waterways has been brought in the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) on behalf of the company’s eight million customers. It is the first time the “opt out” collective action regime established by the Consumer Rights Act 2015 has been used to bring an environmental claim and marks a significant development in the ESG…

In brief At the end of March, the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (“AMC”) published its Annual Report for 2022 (“Report”). The full-scale russian invasion caused significant damage to Ukraine’s economy. Thus, in 2022, the AMC focused on markets that are strategically important for the country, including the markets for: (i) electricity, (ii) natural gas, (iii) light oil products, (iv) housing and communal services, (v) construction materials (i.e., cement), (vi) medicines, (vii) real estate, (viii) information…

In brief On 30 March 2023, Members of the European Parliament endorsed proposed reforms to the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD) in the form of a Regulation, intended to safeguard consumers. This new Regulation looks set to be one of the most significant updates to the EU’s product regulatory landscape in modern history – making substantial amendments to the GPSD, which has been in force for more than two decades. The objective of the Regulation…

On 17 March 2023, the Swiss Parliament approved a revision of the Swiss Civil Procedure Code (CPC) introducing key amendments intended to facilitate the practical application of the CPC and improve access to courts in Switzerland. This includes, among others, the introduction of legal privilege of in-house legal counsel in civil proceedings. Moreover, the revised CPC lays the foundation for cantons to create international commercial courts, where parties can choose English as the language of…

The Wirecard story is a true economic thriller: monies disappeared, offshore accounts were faked, managers were arrested or fugitive, possibly with connections to intelligence services. As such, Wirecard goes down as one of the most sensational scandals in German economic history. Today, it has been almost three years since Wirecard AG filed for insolvency. Since then, private and institutional investors have been trying to recoup their losses through individual lawsuits or model declaratory actions against…

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) has refused to certify an opt out class application brought by Liza Gormsen in relation to the alleged abuse of a dominant position by a social networking platform. The application signified a trend in claims pursued in the UK, in which it is argued that certain activities of dominant companies that strictly appear to be consumer or data law issues in fact constitute “unfair trading conditions” and/ or “supplementary…

In January 2023, the German Federal Ministry of Justice published “Guidelines for the strengthening of the courts in commercial disputes and for the introduction of (English speaking) commercial courts” (Guidelines). The Guidelines are the first step in implementing a legislative project of the labor/liberal/green coalition. In their coalition agreement, the three parties had agreed to “allow the introduction of English-speaking specialized chambers for international commercial and business disputes.” Currently, the possibilities to conduct civil/commercial proceedings…

In recent years, Germany has seen major financial scandals causing political and legal turmoil. The two most prominent scandals are the so called “cum/ex” tax scandal and the “Wirecard” financial fraud scandal. For many people, these names are associated with money lost. Litigators associate “cum/ex”, “Wirecard” and further scandals with proceedings against auditors and tax advisors; a hot topic for litigation in Germany. Disputes are centered around the liability of auditors and tax advisors: Former…