EU: Revision of the Commission Notice on the definition of relevant markets: welcome progress but legal certainty still insufficient, plus a risk of over-regulation.

The Commission has launched a public consultation and has invited all interested parties to submit their comments on the Draft Revised Market Definition Notice by 13 January 2023 (EU Comm., IP/22/6528, 8 Nov. 2022). The revision process started in April 2020 and the draft submitted for consultation is one of the last steps to modernize […]

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NEW ZEALAND: Unfair contract terms.

In relation to distribution, franchising and agency matters in New Zealand, please note that the Fair Trading Amendment Act 2021 (“Amendment Act”) extends the existing prohibition on unfair contract terms in consumer contracts to standard form small trade contracts worth under $250,000 (including GST). The Amendment Act also introduced a new prohibition on unconscionable conduct. […]

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CANADA: Franchisors beware: amendments to the Competition Act criminalize no-poach and no-hire provisions.

Pending amendments to the Competition Act will soon criminalize no-poach and no-hire provisions (including non-solicits) in certain circumstances. This is an important development for franchisors as provisions relating to hiring and solicitation are common in franchise agreements in Canada. While many such provisions will continue to be defensible once the new law takes effect in […]

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What’s new at IDI!

The new IDI website was launched and documents have been also organized by subject. You can now find three new sections: – Antitrust – Applicable Law & Jurisdiction – Arbitration Under the Antitrust and Applicable Law & Jurisdiction sections, you will find the respective special reports on the subject, namely: – the IDI Report on […]

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GREECE: Α new law in Greece enables franchisees to increase their profits.

SUMMARY It is a common fact that commercial cooperation agreements were always of great concern to Greek entrepreneurs, and especially to Greek franchisors. The adoption of Presidential Decree 219/1991 that regulates exclusive commercial agency agreements, highlights the evidence of this concern. Further, the enactment of Law No 3557/2007 followed, of which article 14 par. 4 […]

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FRANCE: News from France – Appeals Court of Bordeaux, September 21, 2022 / Court of Cassation, September 7, 2022 -.

Merger-acquisition affecting the company of the commercial agent allows the termination of the agreement by the principal (Appeals Court of Bordeaux, September 21, 2022). Under French law, the commercial agent agreement is deemed by ARTicle L134-2 of French commercial code “of common interest” and thus traditionally considered to have been concluded intuitu personae, in consideration of […]

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NETHERLANDS: January 1, 2023 is the deadline for implementation of the Dutch Franchise Act. Is your franchise agreement already compliant?

The Dutch Franchise Act (the “Act”) went into effect on January 1, 2021. The Act is mandatory law for franchise undertakings in the Netherlands and franchisors and franchisees were required to conduct themselves in accordance with the Act as of that date. Specific contractual adjustments also had to be implemented immediately in new franchise agreements […]

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ITALY: Recent news from Italy.

ABUSE OF ECONOMIC DEPENDENCE – FRANCHISE AGREEMENTS Article 9 of law No. 192 of 18/06/1998 on subcontracting prohibits the abuse of economic dependence, i.e., the situation which exists when a party is able to determine an excessive imbalance of rights and obligations for the other party. Namely, Art. 9 Law 192/1998 provides: “Abuse of economic […]

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SAUDI ARABIA: Draft new Saudi Commercial Distribution & Agency Agreements Law.

Following the issuance of the Saudi Franchise Regulations by Royal Decree M/22 of 9/2/1441H. on 25 October 2019, the Saudi government is preparing a new law on commercial distribution and agency contracts; a draft of the law, which will, for the first time, contain provisions on the contractual relationship between the parties, was recently published […]

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CHINA: New revisions of Anti-Monopoly Law.

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress has issued recently the decision of amending the Anti-Monopoly Law of the People’s Republic of China (AML Amendment), effective from August 1, 2022.   Key takeaway The AML Amendment introduces the “safe harbour” rule to make the conditions concerning the fixation of price less restrictive. If companies […]

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UKRAINE: Calculation of royalties under franchise agreements in Ukraine – recent case law.

Factual background  Double F Group LLC (franchisor) has concluded a franchise agreement with a private entrepreneur Mrs Mostova (franchisee). Under the franchise agreement, the franchisor has granted the franchisee a set of intellectual property rights, including the trademark “Cheese Kingdom”, for developing a cheese shop within the franchisor’s chain. The franchise agreement has set out […]

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CANADA: The new Canadian trademarks regime presents a host of opportunities and challenges.

The initial success of every foodservice-and-hospitality business begins with product offerings and services that resonate with its target audience. Eventually, its growth and rates of expansion become very dependent on its marketing and branding strategies. For a franchisor or any business thinking about franchising, having a protected name and protected logo(s) is a fundamental requirement. […]

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CHINA: New judicial interpretation concerning agency.

The Supreme People’s Court has issued recently the Interpretation on Several Issues Concerning the Application of the General Principles of the Civil Code of the People’s Republic of China (Interpretation), effective from March 1, 2022.   Key takeaway The Interpretation mainly specifies the legal effect of violating rules related to joint agency, and the conditions […]

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FRANCE: The revision of the Motor Vehicle Regulation and its Guidelines is progressing rapidly with some good news but also a lot of conservatism and a risk of additional constraints.

The European Commission launched on Wednesday 6 July a public consultation and call for contributions inviting all interested parties to comment on its proposals for the future of the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation. The Commission is consulting until 30 September 2022 on a draft regulation extending the validity of the automotive mini-regulation for 5 […]

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AUSTRALIA: Recent Australian Federal Court decision – anti-competitive exclusive dealing.

Australasian Food Group, trading as Peters Ice Cream (Peters), has recently admitted to engaging in exclusive dealing in contravention of section 47 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (CCA). The Federal Court ordered Peters to pay a A$12 million penalty and implement a three year competition law compliance program, following enforcement action taken by the Australian […]

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UK: Dwyer (UK Franchising) Limited v Fredbar Limited and Shaun Rowland Bartlett [2022] EWCA Civ 889.

It has been well established for thirty years that post termination non compete covenants in franchise agreements will be upheld by the English courts as reasonable if they go no further than is necessary to protect the franchisor’s goodwill. The courts have, historically, based their approach in establishing the reasonableness of such covenants on how […]

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NORWAY: The definition of a commercial agent – part IV – The judgement from the Norwegian Supreme Court.

1 Background In previous articles I have presented the ongoing Norep-case, wherein the Norwegian Appeal Court ruled that Norep AS (Norep) was not entitled to indemnity in accordance with the Agency Act as it found that Norep did not qualify as an agent based on the definition of “agent” in the act. The conclusion of […]

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