March 2008


From My Window - March 2008 From My Window March 2008

Amid the litany of problems facing the country are some that we need like a hole in the head. Blessed with what is arguably the finest climate and weather conditions in the world, the outdoor life has long been a South African constant, irrespective of colour. Sport is a major ingredient in the national psyche, football, boxing and athletics among blacks, cricket and rugby among whites (with large overlaps, of course).

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A delicate issue Advertising March 2008

A few South Africans took offence at the use of the South African National Anthem, "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika…", in a Cybersmart radio commercial aired on Radio 702 and Cape Talk over two months in 2007. They argued that the radio commercial is "politically insensitive and denigrates and abuses a revered piece of music." The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) disagreed in its ruling on the matter, handed down on October 26 2007. The decision raises important questions regarding the extent to which humour and parody can be used in advertisements.

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Naughty directors might go straight to jail Competition Law March 2008

The Competition Commission intensified its efforts to combat cartel activity in 2007, and a number of cases involving price fixing and market division in key sectors of the South African economy were referred to the Competition Tribunal for adjudication.

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Control and the effects of partial ownership Competition Law March 2008

November last year saw the Competition Appeal Court (CAC) [68/CAC/MAR/07] place a hold on Primedia's intended further expansion into the profitable commercial radio market in Gauteng through the acquisition of Nail, which has, as its sole remaining asset, a 24,9% holding in Kaya FM.

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Competition compliance through private litigation Competition Law March 2008

South Africa has not yet begun to explore the potential opportunities presented by private antitrust actions. These could play a valuable role in fostering a culture of competition compliance in South Africa.

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Restraints of trade don't always restrain competition Competition Law March 2008

It is quite usual for the purchaser of a business to protect an investment by seeking to restrain the seller from immediately competing with it, particularly where the purchaser has paid a premium for existing goodwill.

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Wherever you hang your hat . . . tax changes for expatriates Tax March 2008

A recent amendment to the Income Tax Act (58 of 1962) will result in an increased tax bill for many companies that use the services of expatriate workers and provide them with free or cheap accommodation during their tenure in South Africa.

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The rules are tightening Tax March 2008

The most recent amendments to the Income Tax Act (58 of 1962) saw significant changes to the provisions dealing with expenditure incurred in respect of intellectual property. Though these changes will only be effective from January 1 2009, taxpayers should be aware of them so as to organise their affairs timeously.

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Tax incentives for R&D Intellectual Property March 2008

This is the first part of a two-part series. The second will be carried in the April issue The R&D tax incentive proposed during 2006 is a living section maturing from its adolescent state of flux. The initial draft was proposed in October 2006 … followed by its passing into law in February 2007 .… quickly followed by an amendment in late February .…. followed by a further amendment in June …… followed by two further amendment Bills in September and November 2007. It is important, therefore, to refer continuously to the Treasury website (www.treasury.gov.za) for the most recent amendments to s11D.

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London Calling – lowering patent translation costs in Europe Intellectual Property March 2008

In 1977 the European Patent Convention (EPC) came into force and established the European Patent Office (EPO). Its function is to grant European patents on the basis of a centralised and standardised procedure for the contracting states to the EPC. On June 1 1978 the first applicants filed for European patent protection with the EPO.

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Removing purgatory from patent applications Intellectual Property March 2008

Anyone who in recent years has filed a patent application in the United States of America (or other countries such as Canada and Japan, that examine the patentability of inventions), would probably express some dissatisfaction about the time taken for a patent to be granted. In fact, some writers have likened the extended delays to time spent in purgatory.

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Directors’ legal responsibilities override corporate governance diktats Company Law March 2008

The duty of good faith is the highest duty of any director. Included is the duty of loyalty, acting in the best interests of the company and honestly applying one's mind to the issue before the board. It is the obligation to follow this legal duty that has resulted in a general acceptance that corporate governance codes should be on a “comply or explain" basis, rather than “comply or else" basis. In short, governance codes should contain recommended practices, which, if not in the interests of the company, the directors have a legal duty to adopt an alternative.

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You may be a widely held company and you don’t even know it Company Law March 2008

This article treats the new definitions of widely held and limited interest companies, and other obscure provisions of the Corporate Laws Amendment Act.

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Will the amended s38 accelerate BEE ownership? Company Law March 2008

The financial assistance landscape has been significantly changed by the promulgation of the Corporate Laws Amendment Act (37 of 2006); the changes to the Companies Act 61 of 1973 contained in the Amendment Act are now effective.

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