July 2010


From My Window - July 2010 From My Window July 2010

Well, we've just seen the most extraordinarily successful example of ambush marketing yet. And it was achieved despite all the changes in South African legislation upon which FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) had insisted.

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(A)esop’s fable Company Law July 2010

Employee Share Ownership Plans (ESOPs) are still popular. Under ESOPs employees are given the ability to acquire shares in the employer company. The basic idea is that employees get a stake in the company for which they work and for this reason are more productive.

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Better get share incentive schemes in line with JSE listing requirements now Company Law July 2010

Schedule 14 of the JSE Listing Requirements contains provisions applicable to all share option schemes and share incentive schemes for companies at listed company level (issuers) and schemes of all subsidiaries of issuers which provide for the issue of equity securities in the issuers (as holding companies).

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A tale of two cessions Company Law July 2010

In South African law, companies trade as separate legal personalities, allowing them to stand as entities separate from their directors, shareholders and employees. However, despite such separate legal persona, persons would be well advised to take note of the onerous responsibility placed on all individuals involved in the day-to-day running of a company.

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It always pays to have an untainted reputation Company Law July 2010

Persons are disqualified from being appointed, or acting, as directors on the grounds set out in the Companies Act (61 of 1973 (current Act)) and a company's articles of association. A company may also impose additional requirements for acting as director in any contracts concluded with directors.

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Synthetic life: where angels fear to tread Intellectual Property July 2010

The recent jaw-dropping announcement that US genomics guru, Dr. J Craig Venter, has both created and applied to patent synthetic life, once again puts the spotlight on the evolution of science and the subsequent inventions in the field of biotechnology; an issue where scientists have, for some time, been pushing the boundaries of ethics and the law.

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Making a mockery of legislation Intellectual Property July 2010

There is move afoot internationally to protect what is generally referred to as “traditional knowledge", that is folklore, traditional music and art and the like. South Africa too is stepping up to the plate.

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A rose by any other name – barring comparison Intellectual Property July 2010

This article is a brief summary and discussion of the recent landmark decision in of the United Kingdom High Court of Justice, Court of Appeal (civil division)1 (the UK Court) L'Oréal SA et al v Bellure NV et al. This decision dealt with trade mark infringement, the context of the primary infringement and anti-dilution provisions of the UK Trade Marks Act and the European Union's First Council Directive 89/104/EEC of December 21 1988 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks (European Directive).

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When a gift isn’t a gift but is a bribe Anti-Corruption Law July 2010

With the 2010 Soccer World Cup under way, entertainment and hospitality will be on the agenda of most South African corporations. This country's Anti-Corruption laws are among the world's most stringent and firms giving and receiving gifts and hospitality need to exercise a degree of caution.

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Sshhh – someone may be listening Communications Law July 2010

How might the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act 70 of 2002 (RICA) impact on the judicial discretion afforded to the courts when deciding on the admissibility of tape recordings in civil proceedings?

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Snares to trap the unwary Competition Law July 2010

The availability of information enhances the efficacy of strategic decision-making and maximises the economic welfare of all participants in the economy. Though information symmetry in the market place is generally regarded as beneficial, the exchange of certain competitively sensitive information between competitors may indeed lead to anti-competitive effects. Recently, the competition authorities have intensified their focus on information-sharing as part of their strategy to combat cartel behaviour.

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Nowhere to hide Competition Law July 2010

Certain legislation authorises companies to engage in certain conduct. However, not even authorisation of a particular conduct by regulation places a firm beyond the competition authorities' reach. If that conduct is potentially anti-competitive, the competition authorities have the power to scrutinise it.

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Game, set and match to the consumer Advertising July 2010

The Advertising Standards Committee handed down a recent ruling on a complaint lodged against the “Price Guarantee" advertised by Game stores. The advertisement reads as follows: “Price Guarantee found it cheaper? Tell us and we will BEAT that price! We will not be undersold – if you've purchased any item from Game, and within 21 days find the same product at a competitor for less, tells us and we will refund MORE than the difference. If you intend purchasing from Game and find the same item elsewhere for less at the same time – tell us and we will beat that price!"

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Changes by stealth Financial Law July 2010

I recently received a letter from SAA's Voyager that started: “Unfortunately you didn't fly enough in the past year to retain your Gold Status...", together with my new shining Silver Voyager cards and the consolation that I'm still a valued customer.

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The dangers of undertakings to pay Financial Law July 2010

The high court recently considered the practice of bridging finance and the liability of legal practitioners in terms of letters of undertaking furnished by them.

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