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Summary of the Draft Trade Marks (1st Amendment) Rules, 2024

The Draft Trade Marks (1st Amendment) Rules, 2024, introduced by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, represent a strategic modification to the Trade Marks Rules, 2017. This regulatory endeavor is conducted under the delegated powers provided for in Section 157[1] of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 (“the Act”). These rules create a unified adjudication process which is carefully planned to ensure consistency. This effectively streamlines the Act’s execution by strengthening the Adjudicating Officer’s capabilities. The aim of this comprehensive approach is to optimise and refine the adjudicative framework, thereby fostering a more robust and coherent administration of trademark-related matters.

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Declaration of Dividend: Interplay of law and business dynamics

Context

The aim of any business organisation is to earn profit and distribute it among the owners. In case of a company, such distribution of profits is connoted as Dividend. The Companies Act, 2013 (“the Act”), inter alia provides for declaration of dividend out of profits. Profit here is the net profit of a company, as determined for preparing financial statements, as per the provisions of Section 129 of the Act and after complying with all the applicable accounting standards notified under Section 133 of the Act.

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Cause of action for a Writ Petition in Patent Suit stands independent of “Appropriate Patent Office” Determination under Patent Rules

In University Health Network v. Adiuvo Diagnostics Pvt. Ltd.[1], Madras High Court has held that it shall have territorial jurisdiction to entertain the writ ‘irrespective of the location of the appropriate patent office[2], which was Delhi. At the time of filing of a patent application, “appropriate office” for that application is ordinarily frozen, i.e. decided based on the place of residence or domicile or business of the applicant(s); or where the invention originated; or based on the address of service of the applicant in India, in case of a foreign applicant.[3] Section 2(1)(r) and 74 of the Patents Act 1970 (“the Act”), Rule 4 of Patent Rules 2003 (“Patent Rules”), and Clause 3.02 of Patents Manual indicate the immense significance of ‘appropriate office’ in the process of prosecution and grant of patent application in India. For instance, all proceedings are conducted from the appropriate office, all communications related to the proceedings are addressed to the concerned appropriate office, among others.

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Purpose & Effect Test for RPTs – How should Audit Commitees navigate it?

Regulatory Context

The definition of ‘Related Party Transaction’ (“RPT”) under Regulation 2(1)(zc) of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 (“LODR Regulations”), inter alia provides that with effect from April 1, 2023, a transaction involving transfer of resources, services or obligations between “a listed entity or any of its subsidiaries on one hand, and any other person or entity on the other hand, the purpose and effect of which is to benefit a related party of the listed entity or any of its subsidiaries,” will also be regarded as an RPT (referred to below as the “Purpose and Effect Test”).

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FIG Paper (No. 33 – Series 2): Compulsory Registration of Off-shore Virtual Digital Asset Service Providers with FIU-IND?

Recently, the Financial Intelligence Unit – India (“FIU-Ind”) has issued show-cause notices to several offshore Virtual Digital Asset Service Providers (“VDASP”) for non-compliance with  provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (“PMLA”) and for non-registration with the FIU-Ind, post amendment to PMLA on march 07, 2023, while catering to the Indian customers and operating in the Indian market.

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Permissibility of Pledges: Decoding SEBI’s View

The efficiency of the securities market depends on equal access to information and ensuring information symmetry for all stakeholders. Many Indian listed entities have significant promoter/ promoter group shareholding, which gives them the advantage of asymmetrical access to unpublished information. For free and fair trade in the financial market, a level-playing field between the promoter/ promoter group and retail shareholders is crucial. This is why there is prohibition on communication of Unpublished Price Sensitive Information (“UPSI”) and insider trading.

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FIG Paper (No. 32) - Outsourcing of Financial Services: Harmonising the Law and Looking Ahead

Background

The Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) issued the draft Master Direction – Reserve Bank of India (Managing Risks and Code of Conduct in Outsourcing of Financial Services) Directions, 2023 (“Draft MD”), on October 26, 2023. With the COVID-19 pandemic and the digitisation of financial services globally, financial institutions started becoming increasingly dependent on their service partners and agents to reduce costs and avail expertise not available internally.

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NFRA Circular on Fraud Reporting and India Inc.’s Dilemma

Context:

In recent years, India has witnessed a slew of accounting frauds, especially in the booming start-up ecosystem. Even established players have not been able to escape the ‘fraud virus’, thereby tarnishing reputations built over centuries. Over the years, businesses in various key sectors of the Indian economy have been rife with corporate governance issues, as is evident from recent reports of alleged violations of accounting norms, overstatement of revenues and underreporting of expenses[1], delayed filing of documents for foreign direct investment received[2], as well as adoption of fraudulent practices for ever-greening of NPAs[3]. Despite the commendable work done by regulators in tightening various statutory provisions, corporate fraud seems to continue to plague India Inc.

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The Telecommunications Act, 2023 (“Act”) has received presidential assent and has been notified for information.[1] When rulemaking under the Act is completed, and it is notified as being in force, it will replace existing legislation governing telecommunications in India, namely the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, the Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933, and the Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Possession) Act, 1950 (collectively, “Telegraph Laws”).

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