eOASIS is Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP's legal information website for clients, containing business and legal information prepared from a practitioner's viewpoint. It has four different modules, updated regularly, and materials range from commentaries on the latest legal developments to key legal and business information.

What's new on eOASIS

With corporate insolvencies becoming increasingly cross-border in nature, the Singapore court has had to consider whether and how it should recognise foreign insolvency proceedings and render assistance by regulating its own proceedings. In Arris Solutions, Inc and others v Asian Broadcasting Network (M) Sdn Bhd [2016] SGHC(I) 1, the Singapore International Commercial Court examined the appropriate scope of such assistance in the context of a foreign scheme of arrangement. 

In April 2016, the Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim revealed that a standalone Cybersecurity Bill to strengthen laws against online crimes would be tabled in Parliament sometime in 2017. While we are still awaiting this standalone Cybersecurity Bill, the Singapore Government has taken steps to strengthen the existing Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act ("CMCA").

The Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity (Amendment) Bill ("Bill") was introduced in Parliament on 9 March 2017 and given a First Reading. This Update takes a look at the key changes proposed by the Bill. 

This issue of Intellectual Property Case Updates provides case notes on some recent Malaysian cases on intellectual property.

It is not often that the provisions of well known marks under the Malaysian Trade Marks Act 1976 are ventilated and decided upon by the Courts. The Court of Appeal has recently affirmed the decision of the High Court in Y-Teq Auto Parts (M) Sdn Bhd v X1R Global Holdings & Anor which touched on the scope of a well known mark provision under the Act prohibiting registration of a mark even where the goods of the parties are not the same.

In a case that illustrates the importance for trade mark owners to use their registered trade marks, failing which they run the risk of not only losing their registrations but also allowing their competitors to enter the market using substantially similar trade marks, the Malaysian Federal Court has recently denied a registered trade mark owner permission to appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal in El Baik Food Systems Co, S.A. v Al Baik Fast Food Distribution Co S.A.E., where the Court of Appeal ruled that the owner's registered trade marks be expunged and those of its competitors be maintained. 

On 8 March 2017, the Singapore Exchange ("SGX") launched a public consultation on proposed changes to minimum bid size, forced order range and shorter trading hours for the securities market. These proposed adjustments aim to "address current market conditions, while balancing the diverse objectives and interests of different segments of participants in the market ecosystem." The consultation ends on 29 March 2017.

At the same time, SGX also announced that it would mandate that all Mainboard IPO companies allocate to retail investors, at least 5% or S$50 million, whichever is lower, of their offer size, to facilitate greater retail participation. The new rules on the minimum allocation are effective 2 May 2017.  

The Police are empowered to seize certain property in the course and for purposes of their investigations. However, this power is not without its limits, both in terms of scope and time. In Rajendar Prasad Rai and another v Public Prosecutor and another matter [2017] SGHC 49, the High Court examined the extent of the power of seizure.  

On 10 March 2017, the Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill was read and passed in Parliament. The legislative amendments took effect on 11 March 2017.

In summary, the holding period for which Seller's Stamp Duty will apply was reduced from 4 years to 3, with the stamp duty rate payable being reduced by 4% for each year. The total debt servicing ratio ("TDSR") will also no longer be applicable to borrowers who take up loans secured on their residential properties, but which are not taken for the purchase of the property, where the loan does not exceed 50% of the property's value.

The Government also introduced the payment of stamp duty for the sale and purchase of equity interest in property holding entities ("PHE"). The stamp duty, known as Additional Conveyance Duty, is applicable to significant owners of equity interest in PHEs, which include companies (whether incorporated in Singapore or not), partnerships, limited liability partnerships and property trusts.

This Update looks at these measures in detail and their potential impact on the market. 

The Companies (Amendment) Bill (“Bill”) was first read in Parliament on 28 February 2017. The legislative amendments contained in the Bill consolidate proposals that were the subject of three public consultations held between October 2016 to December 2016 relating to (i) proposals to reform Singapore’s debt restructuring and corporate rescue framework, (ii) the introduction of an inward re-domiciliation regime in Singapore, and (iii) proposals to reduce the regulatory burden on business entities and enhance the transparency of business entities.

This update provides an overview of the key changes made to the proposals after taking into consideration public feedback received. 

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