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In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, on 6 August 2021 the Hungarian Government issued Decree No. 474/2021 on the different application of the Patent Act (Act XXXIII of 1995). According to the decree, patent applications filed after the entry into force of this decree will not be subject to a maintenance fee for the first three years of patent protection. The decree was promulgated on 6 August 2021 and will remain in force until the end of the state of emergency related to COVID-19.

The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia adopted a new Law on Consumer Protection (“Law”) on 09 September 2021. The main reason for adopting the amendments to the current law lies in providing a higher level of consumer protection and trying to apply it more actively, in relation to the Law from 2014 and its subsequent amendments from 2016 and 2018. The most prominent novelty concerns direct marketing by telephone, ie the introduction of the “do not call” register. The “do not call” register is a list of landline and mobile telephone numbers of consumers who do not want to receive calls and / or messages as part of the promotion, marketing and / or sale by telephone.

In 2020, Ukraine’s government awarded the first two concessions in the history of Ukraine – 35-year concessions of the assets of Kherson and Olvia, two significant ports on the Black Sea. Building on this success, in October 2020, the government made a media splash by releasing a roadmap for further public private partnership (PPP) projects and held various promotion events since then.

In its decision dated June 8, 2021, and numbered 2018/5832, the Turkish Constitutional Court [the “Court”] ruled that the dismissal of the case in terms of non-jurisdiction nearly after seven years on the ground of the arbitration clause does not violate the right to property.

In the age of digital philosophy, when the electronic management of documents become more and more prominent in both private and public sectors, digitalization of invoices is rather a logical development than an innovative approach in the functioning of the supply chain. Harmonization of e-invoicing regulation in B2G sector has been in effect for seven years in the EU, while Serbia established an e-invoice system in 2019, prescribing mandatory registration of invoices issued in commercial transactions with the public sector on the central registry of invoices (CRF). The most recent novelty in the field happened with adopting the Electronic Invoicing Act and its by-laws when a comprehensive set of rules regulating e-invoicing came into effect.

An unregistered community design is established merely by the disclosure of a design and triggers protection for three years from the date of disclosure. This informal right was created to satisfy the demands of the industry and creatives for a design protection right providing broad-ranging territorial protection and safety for short-lived products without an elaborate and costly registration procedure.

As known, several months ago, Whatsapp Inc. had informed its users about the update on the terms of use and privacy policy and announced that “the users must consent to their WhatsApp data being shared with Facebook companies in order to continue using WhatsApp, otherwise as of February 8, 2021 they will not be able to use WhatsApp”. This update stirred a huge debate among users, and millions stopped using the app. That being said, on January 12, 2021, the Personal Data Protection Authority [“Authority”] initiated an ex officio investigation as to whether WhatsApp infringed Article 15 of Turkish Personal Data Protection Law No. 6698 [“Law No.6698”]. 

Patents and innovation are closely linked. Patents can boost innovation by granting a legal monopoly over certain technology, and inventors may be willing to invest more time, money and creativity into their inventions if they can do this in anticipation of being rewarded with such monopoly on their invention. Furthermore, patents boost future innovation because the technology protected by a patent will be made publicly available and can be used by everyone once the patent protection term expires. However, patents may even hinder innovation, because technology and its further-development could be blocked by existing patents.

Data controllers and data processors had until 24 August 2021 to align with the new Law on Personal Data Protection in North Macedonia (“Law”), which introduced the GDPR in the local legislation at the beginning of 2020. Non-compliance with the new obligations for personal data protection can lead to severe penalties, such as fines of up to 2% and up to 4% of the total annual turnover from the previous financial year, per misdemeanor.

What is ESG?  ESG refers to the three key factors (environmental, social and governance) when measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of an investment in a business or company and it is commonly used in capital markets and commonly used by investors to evaluate the behavior of the companies, as well as determining their future financial performance.

The Hungarian Competition Authority (HCA) published its draft report of an accelerated sector inquiry on the Hungarian brick market. The interested and affected parties have only 8 days to submit comments to the authority's draft report. As a main finding, the HCA has not found reasons to conduct an antitrust proceeding on the relevant market. It has, however, made recommendations for consumers and also for the government.

Following the record-long period, since May 25, 2018, during which Slovenia failed to adopt a relevant GDPR-implementing act, the Slovenian Government has sent a new draft of the Slovenian Data Protection Act for public discussion. If the parliamentary process runs uninterruptedly, the adoption of the new Act can be expected by the fall of this year.

The right to privacy that is guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo is embodied in the new Law on Protection of Personal Data, which was approved in January 2019 as an amendment and supplement to the old law, which had been in force since 2010. With the introduction of the new LPPD, Kosovo has implemented an advanced and comprehensive regulatory and institutional framework for data protection, incorporating the main principles and provisions of the EU General Data Protection Regulation.