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International: World Intellectual Property Organization Announces Service Providing Evidence of Intellectual Assets’ Authorship

(July 1, 2020) On May 27, 2020, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) announced a new service called WIPO PROOF, which reportedly provides evidence of the existence of digital files in any format at a point in time in order to document their authorship. According to WIPO, because creative activities are increasingly digital, global, and […]

European Union: Council Adopts Temporary European Instrument “SURE” to Help Protect Jobs amid COVID-19 Pandemic

(June 16, 2020) On May 19, 2020, the Council of the European Union (Council) adopted “SURE,” a regulation establishing a European instrument to provide temporary financial support to mitigate unemployment risks caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Under SURE, the European Union (EU) will temporarily provide loans not exceeding 100 billion euros (€) (about US$113.5 billion) […]

European Union: Court of Justice Rules against Poland, Czech Republic, and Hungary for Noncompliance with Migrant Relocation Obligations

(June 5, 2020) On April 2, 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (EU) in Luxembourg issued a judgment in Joined Cases C-715/17, C-718/17 and C-719/17, European Commission v. Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, finding these three countries in noncompliance with the temporary mechanism for the relocation of applicants for international protection […]

European Union: Commission Adopts Second Amendment to Temporary Framework for State Aid Measures to Support Member States’ Economies during COVID-19 Outbreak

(June 3, 2020) On May 8, 2020, the European Commission adopted a second amendment to extend the scope of the Temporary Framework for State Aid Measures to include recapitalization measures and subordinated debt. The Temporary Framework was first adopted on March 19, 2020, allowing a variety of state aid measures otherwise incompatible with European Union […]

Côte d’Ivoire: Former Prime Minister Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Corruption

(May 15, 2020) On April 28, 2020, the Tribunal Correctionnel (Criminal Trial Court) of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, convicted former Prime Minister Guillaume Soro in absentia of embezzlement and money laundering. The trial lasted only a few hours and was boycotted by Soro’s lawyers in protest of what they claimed were politically motivated, trumped-up charges. Soro, […]

Russia: New Law Eliminates Requirement to Renounce Foreign Citizenship

(May 1, 2020) On April 24, 2020, the Russian government portal for legal information published the text of the newly adopted Law on Amending the Law on Citizenship. (Federal Law No. 134-FZ of April 24, 2020, Concerning the Simplification of the Procedure for Acquisition of Russian Citizenship.) The new law, which will enter into force […]

Germany: First Criminal Trial Worldwide on State Torture in Syria Begins

(Apr. 30, 2020) On April 23, 2020, the first criminal trial worldwide on state torture in Syria started at the Higher Regional Court in Koblenz, Germany (docket no. 1 StE 9/19). The two defendants allegedly worked for the Syrian intelligence services and are charged with crimes against humanity in numerous cases. The trial is scheduled to […]

European Union: Commission Proposes Temporary European Instrument (SURE) to Help Protect Jobs Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

(Apr. 24, 2020) On April 2, 2020, the European Commission (Commission) published a proposal for a regulation on the establishment of a temporary instrument for “support to mitigate unemployment risks in an emergency” (SURE) following the COVID-19 outbreak. The proposal, which has its legal basis in article 122 of the Treaty on the Functioning of […]

International: World Intellectual Property Organization Announces 2019 as “Best” Year for Intellectual Property Services, Treaties, and Finances

(Apr. 15, 2020) Last week, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) released its 2019 statistics, recording 2019 as its best year for intellectual property (IP) services, treaties, and finances since WIPO’s creation in 1967. It also announced that in 2019, China surpassed the United States as the top filer of international patents—the first time any […]

European Union: Commission Adopts Temporary Framework for State Aid Measures to Support Member States’ Economies During COVID-19 Outbreak

(Apr. 10, 2020) On March 19, 2020, the European Commission (Commission) adopted a Temporary Framework for state aid measures (Temporary Framework) to support the European Union economy during the current COVID-19 outbreak. Under the Temporary Framework, member states can temporarily grant state aid in a variety of forms that would otherwise be incompatible with the […]