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Newsletter January 2019

Legal Updates

Gone with the fire

Time: August 2017;
Place: Portugal;
Situation: An overwhelming wave of wildfires were responsible for more than a hundred deaths. That is our scenario.

A natural tragedy compels an entire country to review all of its civil protection procedures thus publishing the Cabinet resolution n. º 157-A/2017. Published on October 27th, that resolution guarantees the approval of underlying changes in the prevention and combat of wildfires.

Driven by the social urge caused by the natural disaster’s turmoil, the country had no choice but to publish the law decree n. º 133/2018 in charge of creating, within the Nacional Republican Guard, the “Protection and Rescue Emergency Unit” (UEPS), replacing the old “Protection and Rescue Intervention Group” (GIPS).

Empowered all over the Portuguese territory, the UEPS includes the GIPS’s workforce having as its primary mission, the rescue and aid of citizens in catastrophic events. The list of situations in which this special team is supposed to intervene is not limited to wildfires. As would be expected, the agents are armed with not only the best equipment but also the best know-how, preparing them to respond to all situations. For that reason the law decree foresees situations of floods, earthquakes, searches and rescues.

Heir of the GIPS’s traditions, awards and historical background, UEPS aid isn’t limited to the Portuguese borders having the obligation to lend their forces and expertise in international civil protection crisis.

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New industrial property code comes into force

The new Industrial Property Code approved by Decree-Law No. 110/2018 published on 10 December 2018, entering into force on 9 January 2019, transposes the Directives (EU) 2015/2436 and 2016/943 into the national legal system. The aforementioned legal framework aims to simplify and clarify administrative procedures in respect of the granting, renewal and revocation of intellectual property rights and introduces mechanisms to strengthen those rights.

This legal regime also introduces the possibility of interested parties invoking the absence of genuine use of the later trade mark on opposition proceedings following registration.

Moreover, it also affords protection to undisclosed know-how and business information against unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure, thus creating a new intellectual property right that protects the so called “trade secrets”, crucial to the survival of many undertakings.

Finally, it revokes the legal framework on mandatory arbitration for reference and generic medicines. This regime, provided by Law No. 62/2011 of December 12th, allows interested parties to opt between voluntary arbitration or the litigating before the Intellectual Property Court. Furthermore, under voluntary arbitral proceedings, it is possible to invoke the invalidity of the patent with inter parties effects.

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Business Updates

Credit line “Return Venezuela” makes available 50 million euros to portuguese entrepreneurs

Portuguese entrepreneurs, returned from Venezuela, who intend to create new businesses or to acquire holdings in Portuguese companies will be able to obtain funding for this purpose through the credit line “Return Venezuela”.

The credit line “Return Venezuela” makes available 50 million euros for the funding of SMEs owned, at least in 50%, by these entrepreneurs. This funding is mainly oriented to enable the acquisition of holdings in existing companies, investment operations in tangible and intangible fixed assets, reinforcement of operating funds and permanent capitals, and the purchase of real estate destined to the production activity.

This credit line will stimulate the creation of favorable conditions for entrepreneurship, promoting private investment in business projects in Portugal.

Caiado Guerreiro offers specialized services in all areas of Law, and it is prepared to render consulting services to SMEs, which intend to obtain the abovementioned funding and, consequently, accomplish their desired projects.

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European Union approved trade agreement with japan

It was ratified, on the 20th December, 2018, the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, which eliminates most of the customs fees on Japanese products destined to the EU, as well as on the European exports to Japan.

The agreement foresees the exemption of custom duties on goods as wine, spirit drinks, and other alcoholic beverages, processed pork meat, hard cheeses and fresh cheeses, and reduces those charges on goods as fresh pork meet and beef meat. Still significant for Portugal, it is foreseen the liberalisation of the leather and footwear imports.

On the other hand, the agreement will ease the provision of services in the Japanese market by EU companies, allowing the transfer within companies of the different jurisdictions in about 40 sectors and ensuring the access by European companies to the large Japanese public procurement markets.

The agreement shall enter into force on the 1st February, 2019, thus creating investment opportunities between EU and Japan.

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