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REWIND: International Business News #12

Posted on January 18th, 2011 | Author: admin

  • Reacting to the current growth in the securities market, the Chinese government is imposing restrictions to ensure reporters and editors have worked a specific number of years before entering the field.  Latest figures indicate that China boasts the largest I.P.O market in the world, with Shanghai and Shenzhen grossing $72 billion in 2010 alone. The General Administration of Press and Publication has setout the guidelines for the new restrictions, which will go in effect on Feb 1, 2011.  The principal concern is protecting the interests of stakeholders, including investors and the public.
  • A significant reform to The United Kingdom’s (UK) libel laws is planned in the coming months. Over the past few years, the British freedom of expression laws, have fallen under severe scrutiny and will likely be replaced following the announcement of a draft proposal bill. The contentious laws have incited many foreigners to take advantage of the stringent U.K. system. As a result, the United States (U.S.) has ruled foreign libel laws unenforceable in U.S. courts. The proposed bill will impose statutory defenses for speaking out in the public interest and pinpoints the defenses, qualified privilege and fair comment, as other key areas for reform. Nonetheless, critics of the overhaul remain concerned for those with legitimate reputations to protect in British courts.
  • In trademark news, Cuba has brought an unusual infringement case against a Michigan cigar lounge in Federal District Court in Detroit. Cuba is relying on the likelihood of confusion between the Michigan lounge “La Case De La Habana” and their famous internationally known store “La Casa del Habano.”  Notwithstanding the fifty year trade embargo to U.S. shores, international agreements permit government owned businesses in Cuba to register trademarks in the U.S.  However, with Cuba having no current use of the mark in the U.S., it is anticipated that this issue will be fundamental in the dispute between the parties.
  • The United States Trade Representatives (USTR) has voiced its concerns following China’s continued reluctance to eliminate restraints on the export of rare earth materials. Evidently, the lack of cooperation has spurred anxiety between its trading partners.  For the most part, the problems have been pinpointed to China’s persistence to protect its domestic market and government owned enterprises. Furthermore, the U.S. has indicated it will pursue further action in the form of World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute settlement, if the countries cannot collaborate.
  • A modern and realistic take on the future of the entertainment industry can be found here: Digital Explosion Changes Landscape for Entertainment Lawyers.

Compiled and summarized by Muireann O’Keeffe.