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Digest 90

April 11, 2018 Subsribe

SPBILF 2018 News

Last days for media to register for the VIII SPBILF. Hundreds of journalists from Russia and foreign countries work on the Forum every year to highlight the events of the Forum.

The registration form is available till April, 22 ► Media accreditation

LF Conferences

Russian Arbitration Day is Back, at Long Last!

We have looked forward to this day for a long time. Russian Arbitration Day has finally returned on 30 March 2018.

Russian Arbitration Day, one of the most successful conferences devoted to arbitration in Russia, has resumed its work after a 3-year hiatus. This year the conference is organized jointly by the LF Academy info-educational project and the Arbitration Centre of the Institute of Modern Arbitration. Organizational support comes from our partners, the international law offices of Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, Goltsblat BLP, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.

The event’s unusual format, which allowed anyone wishing to do so to submit a report topic, combined with the enormous amount work the moderators and speakers had completed in the selection and preparation of reports, ensured a very high quality level of the conference.

Moderated by Anton Asoskov, Alyona Kucher and Roman Khodykin, RAD’2018 featured some international arbitration leading lights as guests of honour: Constantine Partasides (UK), Stanimir Alexandrov (US), Michael Schneider (Switzerland), and Gary Born (UK), who delivered a video presentation.

“We are greatly pleased with the success of Russian Arbitration Day 2018. The fact that some 1000 participants joined us off and online that day bespeaks Russia’s rising interest in the subject of arbitration as more Russian lawyers seek to be informed of the latest global trends in dispute resolution. We thank the speakers, moderators, hosts and partners! We will look forward to RAD’2019.” Andrey Gorlenko, Executive Administrator, Arbitration Center at the Institute of Modern Arbitration

“RAD attracts more talented speakers every year, providing a unique forum for young professionals, who have the option of presenting their research outputs in the form of a paper, included in the collected conference papers, and/or in the form of a report at the conference. The good work of every speaker at the recent conference is a momentous contribution to the furtherance of international arbitration in our country.” Anton Asoskov, Professor of Lomonosov State University of Moscow

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“We propose to discuss the legal implications of the decision to expand the list of parties entitled to provide data retrieval services, and the possible risks involved”

Today, as before, Rospatent determines the patentability of intellectual products or outputs on the basis of the findings of data retrieval — a service provided by the Federal Institute of Industrial Property (FIIP). In a bid to improve the legal framework of intellectual property regulation in Russia, Rospatent has put forward, inter alia, the idea of nurturing a competitive market in Russia for the services of data retrieval and preliminary patentability evaluation of intellectual outputs. In the vision of the patents authority, these services would be delivered by Rospatent-accredited research institutions equipped with strong technical resources and professional staff possessing cutting-edge knowledge in the pertinent areas of science and technology. In Rospatent’s view, this improvement would have a beneficial effect by shortening the time of patent application processing and patent issuance, and by improving the quality of patents overall.

At SPBILF 2018, we propose to discuss the legal implications of the decision to expand the list of parties entitled to provide data retrieval services, and the possible risks involved, in the format of a public discussion in a session we have headlined “Patent Examination: From Monopoly to Competition.”

Who may benefit

The talk may be of interest to lawyers whose practice focuses on intellectual property issues, as well as heads of the innovation departments and units of Russian enterprises, patent attorneys, and leaders of Russian research think-tanks.

“The Russian antitrust regulator must keep pace with technology, in order to remain able to ensure a level playing field for all market players and protect citizens for any unwelcome side-effects of technological progress”

As in the previous years, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) of Russia will be conducting an antimonopoly discussion track during the upcoming 2018 St. Petersburg International Legal Forum. Consisting of a series of sessions, our discussion track will cover the highlights of Russia’s current competition policy trends. The keynote of the series, New Challenges: New Competition Policy, will be addressed by an eponymous Plenary Session.

The topic is of heightened relevance at this time as antitrust regulators face the onslaught of digital economy which, while being the 21st century’s development backbone, nonetheless brings new challenges to competition in its wake. Raising the competitiveness of market players, digital technologies that use big data and support the pursuit of trade practices via electronic gadgets transform the interoperation modes between players in ways that harm competition.

New cooperation and coordination methods have arrived, enabling cartel deals and fast-track market dominance schemes online. The realities of our new digital age are such that the Russian antitrust regulator must keep pace with technology, in order to remain able to ensure a level playing field for all market players and protect citizens for any unwelcome side-effects of technological progress. The Digital Economy national priority programme, recently enacted by order of President Vladimir Putin, seeks to foster a digital economy ecosystem across the board, including the field of antitrust regulation. The amendments currently in the works for the Competition Protection Act are designed to boost the effectiveness of antirust controls in an environment characterized by widespread use of artificial intelligence and data aggregation, whereby cartel conspiracies are placed on a computerized, algorithmic footing. The proposed amendments will augment the conceptual framework, revise certain cluster exceptions related to the use of intellectual rights, and introduce some new methods of assessing a “dominant market stature.”

At the discussion panels planned during the Forum (Plenary Session, “Digital Economy and Cartels,” “Global Economic Concentration,” and “How Intellectual Property Protection Relates to Antimonopoly Legislation”) the participants will ponder the methods of preventing and countering price-fixing conspiracies in a digital era, focusing on a search for new regulatory approaches to the definition of what constitutes a “market” for the purposes of reviewing economic concentration deals in a globalizing environment, and address some key aspects of intellectual property protection.

The discussions to be hosted by the FAS of Russia during the SPBILF may be of interest not solely to antitrust law enforcement experts, but to the entire SPBILF audience, seeing as the prominence of competition protection issues has much increased in our age of digital change.

Anti-Avoidance Regulations in International Practice. New Legislative Tools for Counteracting Tax Evasion in Russia

The key international parties concerned are currently in the process of joining forces in an effort to counter the shadow economy and the practices of money laundering and tax evasion. The main framework for the actors’ interoperation in this effort is provided by the application of the General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR).

In its recent report on base erosion and profit shifting, the OECD pointed out that the embedding of specific anti-avoidance provisions in the national legal frameworks is a powerful tool to discourage tax evasion. Such tools have already been legislated in several European states.

Until recently, there were no provisions of this nature in the Russian Tax Code, while some elements of the legal approach to the issue were, de facto, cemented within the judicial doctrine, articulated by Resolution No. 53 of the Supreme Arbitration Court of the RF, dated 12 October 2006. However, in the intervening eleven years of court practice, numerous interpretations of the terminology have emerged, and diverse evaluation criteria have appeared.

The 18 July 2017 Federal Act No. 163-FZ “On the Amendments to the First Part of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation,” which came into force as of August 2017, firmed up two ground rules: (1) a ban on knowing misstatement of business facts; and (2) zero tolerance of fly-by-night firms, which comes with the proviso that every transaction has to be delivered by the stated counterparty of the first order, and avoidance of tax cannot be the chief purpose of the transaction in question. The enactment of this legislation is part of the government’s integral, consistent commitment to promulgating the principle of the preponderance of content over form in economic relations.

Whenever facts of abuse are exposed, it is important to make sure that not only the true measure of tax liability is recovered, but that the taxable base becomes, from then on, firmly tied to fiscal compliance by the mastermind of the scheme, who had benefitted at the expense of causing revenue loss to the government. It is with this in mind that court practice is shaping up for the prosecution of the true beneficiaries of a business enterprise.

We propose to discuss these and other matters with members of the academia and top experts from Russian and international law firms and consultancies. Moderating this roundtable will be S.A. Arakelov, deputy chief of the Federal Taxation Service of Russia.

The participants will discuss the means of counteracting tax evasion as used in the international law enforcement practice, and review the pertinent legal approaches of the FTS of Russia. The subject-matter may be of interest to members of the Russian and international business community.

“The discussion will touch upon the questions concerned with the concept paper on regulation of the professional legal services’ market”

This year the conference of the Russian Federal Bar will be dedicated to the regulation of legal services, its external and internal aspects. The discussion of the external aspects will touch upon the questions concerned with the concept paper on regulation of the professional legal services’ market published in October, 2017 by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation as a part of the “Justice” program. The discussion of the internal aspects will be mainly focused on the questions of professional ethics.

The foreign speakers invited by the Russian Federal Bar will draw the attention of the audience to the national regulation of legal services.

The President of the German Federal Bar, Dr. Ekkhart Schäfer will address the audience with regards to the topic of lawyers’ monopoly in German law and the use of commercial legal entities for the purposes of legal services.

The President of the the French National Bar Council, Mrs Christiane Feral-Schuhl will describe the process of the legal professionals’ consolidation which took place in France several years ago.

The Deputy Vice — president of The Law Society of England and Wales, Mr Simon Davis will focus on the British legal frameworks of the international lawyers’ activities.

The Chairman of the Bar of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr Anuar Tugel will describe the results of the reform of the legal profession in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The speech of the other learned guests of the Russian Federal Bar will be dedicated to the most interesting topics in the mentioned spheres.

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